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  1. Knowledge building in chemistry education.Margaret A. L. Blackie - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 24 (1):97-111.
    Teaching chemistry remains a profoundly challenging activity. This paper arises from reflection on the challenges of creating meaningful assessments. Herein a simple framework to assist in making more visible the different kinds of knowledge required for mastery of chemistry is described. Building from a realist foundation the purpose of this paper is to lay the intellectual scaffolding for the framework. By situating the framework theoretically, it is intended to highlight the value of engaging with philosophy for the project of knowledge (...)
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  2. Ogawa’s nipponium and its re-assignment to rhenium.Yoji Hisamatsu, Kazuhiro Egashira & Yoshiteru Maeno - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 24 (1):15-57.
    We re-examine the history of the element “nipponium” discovered by a Japanese chemist Masataka Ogawa in 1908. Since 1996 H.K. Yoshihara has made extensive research into Ogawa’s work and revealed evidence that nipponium proposed for the place of the atomic number of 43 was actually rhenium. In this paper, we provide critical re-interpretations of the existing information and confirmed that Ogawa left indisputable evidence that nipponium was in fact rhenium. We further discuss the reasons for the existing doubts and criticism (...)
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  3. Density functional theory, chemical reactivity, and the Fukui functions.R. Pucci & G. G. N. Angilella - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 24 (1):59-71.
    We review the early works which were precursors of the Conceptual Density Functional Theory. Starting from Thomas–Fermi approximation and from the exact formulation of Density Functional Theory by Hohenberg and Kohn’s theorem, we will introduce electronegativity and the theory of hard and soft acids and bases. We will also present a general introduction to the Fukui functions, and their relation with nucleophilicity and electrophilicity, with an emphasis towards the importance of these concepts for chemical reactivity.
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  4. Special theory of relativity in chemistry.Nenad Raos - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 24 (1):87-95.
    Application of Einstein special theory of relativity in chemistry seems to be superfluous; energies are too low. The average velocity of electron in hydrogen atom is 1/135 c, making its actual mass only 26,6 ppm bigger than the rest mass. However, for heavier elements relativistic effects have to be taken into account and, more, many phenomena cannot be explained without ascribing new mass to electrons, in accordance with Einstein theory. In this paper such phenomena are described: color of metallic gold (...)
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  5. Interview with Eric Scerri.Edit Talpsepp - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 24 (1):143-153.
    Eric Scerri is the world-leading expert on Periodic Table and was quite recently named the second-most influential academic in the field of chemistry over the last decade by Academic Influence. In this interview we discuss his main questions of interest in the philosophy of chemistry—the question of reduction of chemistry to physics and the dual sense of chemical element—in the context of his main study object, the periodic table of elements. Among other things, we touch upon the more specific issues (...)
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  6. Brick by brick: The historical and theoretical foundations of thermodynamics Robert T. Hanlon Oxford University Press, Oxford 2020 pp xx + 646.Peter Atkins - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 24 (1):155-157.
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  7. Chemistry: progress since 1860—reflections on chemistry and chemistry education triggered by reading Muspratt’s Chemistry.Alan Goodwin - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 24 (1):121-142.
    This paper was inspired by the author’s fortunate acquisition of a copy of an original copy of “Muspratt’s Chemistry” that was published in 1860. This raised, for the author, interesting and significant issues regarding the chemistry content and its presentation in the context of chemistry and education today. The paper is presented in two parts: Part 1 explores the content, structure and gives reactions to and insights into the original publication, whereas Part 2 provides a focus on the developments in (...)
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  8. Orthogonality properties of states, configurations, and orbitals.Balakrishnan Viswanathan & Mohamed Shajahan Gulam Razul - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 24 (1):73-86.
    This manuscript explores the orthogonality constraints on configurations and orbitals subject to the property that states are mutually orthogonal. The orthogonality constraints lead to properties that affect the description of chemical systems. When states are described as linear combinations of configurations, the coefficient matrix diagonalises S−1H. Therefore, single-configuration states are only possible in one-electron systems: non-orthogonal configurations yield single-configuration states only if S−1H is diagonal, but this would violate the orthonormalisation constraint. Further, the coefficient matrix is not constrained to be (...)
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  9. Editorial 70.Eric Scerri - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 24 (1):1-2.
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  10. Understanding entropy.Peter G. Nelson - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 24 (1):3-13.
    A new way of understanding entropy as a macroscopic property is presented. This is based on the fact that heat flows from a hot body to a cold one even when the hot one is smaller and has less energy. A quantity that determines the direction of flow is shown to be the increment of heat gained divided by the absolute temperature. The same quantity is shown to determine the direction of other processes taking place in isolated systems provided that (...)
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  11. Improving student success in chemistry through cognitive science.JudithAnn R. Hartman, Eric A. Nelson & Paul A. Kirschner - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-23.
    Chemistry educator Alex H. Johnstone is perhaps best known for his insight that chemistry is best explained using macroscopic, submicroscopic, and symbolic perspectives. But in his writings, he stressed a broader thesis, namely that teaching should be guided by scientific research on how the brain learns: cognitive science. Since Johnstone’s retirement, science’s understanding of learning has progressed rapidly. A surprising discovery has been when solving chemistry problems of any complexity, reasoning does not work: students must apply very-well-memorized facts and algorithms. (...)
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  12. Faith, War, and Violence: Religion & Public Life.Gabriel R. Ricci - 2014 - Routledge.
    Faith, War, and Violence analyzes the age-old links between religion and violence perpetrated in the name of God, and the role religion performs in politically infusing the state with romantic spiritualism. The volume examines instances of this phenomenon from ancient Rome to the modern day; it finds that religion-inspired violence is not restricted to Abrahamic faiths or to one geographic region. The fact that symbolically charged religious violence has destructive consequences is not lost on contributors to Faith, War, and Violence. (...)
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  13. Periodic tables for cations + 1, + 2, + 3 and anions − 1. Quantitative characteristics for manifestations of internal periodicity and kainosymmetry. [REVIEW]Naum S. Imyanitov - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-31.
    This paper describes the construction of the Periodic Tables for cations of all elements with charges + 1, + 2, + 3 and anions with charge − 1. The Table for cations+1 differs significantly from other newly constructed Tables and from known Tables, as the d- and f-blocks are inserted into s-block and split it up for two parts. Importantly, a new type of 3d- and 4f-shell contractions has been discovered. The manifestations of secondary periodicity in case of anions is (...)
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  14. The Logic of Life.Bhakti Madhava Puri - 2008 - Science and Scientist.
    Modern science generally assumes that the same laws of logic apply to mechanical, chemical and biological entities alike because they are all ultimately material objects. This may seem to be so obvious that there would be no need to validate it -- experimentally or logically. In this article we would like to critically examine this assumption and show that from an experiential/observational level, as well as from a rational/logical level, it is not valid. This becomes apparent, for instance, when we (...)
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  15. Plato on chemistry.Ernesto Paparazzo - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-18.
    It is a notion commonly acknowledged that in his work Timaeus the Athenian philosopher Plato laid down an early chemical theory of the creation, structure and phenomena of the universe. There is much truth in this acknowledgement because Plato’s “chemistry” gives a description of the material world in mathematical terms, an approach that marks an outstanding advancement over cosmologic doctrines put forward by his predecessors, and which was very influential on western culture for many centuries. In the present article, I (...)
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  16. Scerri and Fisher's Essays in the Philosophy of Chemistry. [REVIEW]Julia Bursten - 2017 - BJPS Review of Books.
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  17. Disparities and conceptual connections regarding the concept of substance in general chemistry textbook glossaries.Larissa Moreira Ferreira, Jean Pscheidt Weiss & Marcelo Lambach - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-17.
    The concept of substance is considered fundamental in order to understand chemistry and other related concepts, but many problems have been reported about its learning process. Considering the importance of textbooks in the training of chemistry teachers, this study aimed to identify the concepts of substance in general chemistry textbook glossaries. In addition, the study assessed the concepts of substance in relation to other chemical concepts and, when available, compared them with the concepts established by the IUPAC. The methodology employed (...)
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  18. Fondation et explication : la chimie à l'épreuve des lois métaphysiques.Gabriel Veilleux - 2021 - Ithaque 28:81-95.
    Dans son article The Ground between the Gaps, Jonathan Shaffer développe une conception de l'explication métaphysique impliquant les notions de fondation et de loi métaphysique. Je soutiens ici qu'une telle conception se révèle inadéquate pour saisir les explications métaphysiques courantes des sciences empiriques. Ma démarche consiste à appliquer le cadre théorique de Schaffer à certains types d'explication de la chimie. Bien qu'il soit possible de dégager des lois métaphysiques en chimie, une codification de celles-ci se révèle toutefois impossible. Il y (...)
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  19. Conceptual polymorphism of entropy into the history: extensions of the second law of thermodynamics towards statistical physics and chemistry during nineteenth–twentieth centuries.Raffaele Pisano, Emilio Marco Pellegrino, Abdelkader Anakkar & Maxime Nagels - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (3):337-378.
    After the birth of thermodynamics’ second principle—outlined in Carnot's Réflexions sur la puissance motrice du feu —several studies provided new arguments in the field. Mainly, they concerned the thermodynamics’ first principle—including energy conceptualisation—, the analytical aspects of the heat propagation, the statistical aspects of the mechanical theory of heat. In other words, the second half of nineteenth century was marked by an intense interdisciplinary research activity between physics and chemistry: new disciplines applied to the heat developed in the form of (...)
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  20. Eric Scerri and Elena Ghibaudi, eds: What is an element? A collection of essays by chemists, philosophers, historians, and educators : Oxford University Press, 2020, $99.Peter J. Ramberg - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (3):465-473.
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  21. Making sense of a pedagogic text: Review of Reid, N., & Ali, A. A. (2020). Making Sense of Learning: A research based approach. Evidence to guide policy and practice, with an emphasis on secondary stages. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Softcover, ISBN 978-3-030-53676-3, £74.99. 1st ed. 2020, XXI, 496 p.Keith S. Taber - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (3):433-457.
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  22. Is the problem of molecular structure just the quantum measurement problem?Sebastian Fortin & Olimpia Lombardi - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (3):379-395.
    In a recent article entitled “The problem of molecular structure just is the measurement problem”, Alexander Franklin and Vanessa Seifert argue that insofar as the quantum measurement problem is solved, the problems of molecular structure are resolved as well. The purpose of the present article is to show that such a claim is too optimistic. Although the solution of the quantum measurement problem is relevant to how the problem of molecular structure is faced, such a solution is not sufficient to (...)
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  23. What is an organic substance?Lee J. Silverberg - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (3):329-336.
    No exact definition of an “organic” substance has been agreed upon by the chemical community and textbook definitions vary substantially. The question of what exactly constitutes an “organic” substance is explored in this paper. Various carbon-containing substances that have been by some considered to be “inorganic” are examined in an attempt to ascertain whether carbon in these compounds display different chemical behavior than what is expected of carbon in an “organic” substance. Types of substances considered are carbon allotropes, carbides, carbonates (...)
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  24. A simple treatment of chemical equilibrium.Peter G. Nelson - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (3):397-405.
    A simple treatment of chemical equilibrium is given, based on Boltzmann’s distribution law. The results are compared with those obtained by using thermodynamics.
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  25. A brief comment on ‘Mendeleyev Revisited’ by Marks & Marks.Vladimir M. Petruševski - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (3):431-432.
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  26. An integrated vision of the Green Chemistry evolution along 25 years.Carlos Alberto Marques & Adelio A. S. C. Machado - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (3):299-328.
    The objective of the present review on the evolution of Green Chemistry, since its emergence until 2016, aimed an integrated vision of its progress along the three phases of its development: emergence, divulgation and consolidation. The methodology involved the analysis of a selection of bibliography on the evolution of GC collected from issues of the ACS symposia series; editorials in specialized GC journals; and commemorative birthday papers/editorials of these journals and of the GC itself. The analysis allowed to identify and (...)
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  27. Quantum mechanical atom models, legitimate explanations and mechanisms.Erik Weber, Merel Lefevere & Kristian Gonzalez Barman - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (3):407-429.
    The periodic table is one of the best-known systems of classification in science. Because of the information it contains, it raises explanation-seeking questions. Quantum mechanical models of the behaviour of electrons may be seen as providing explanations in response to these questions. In this paper we first address the question ‘Do quantum mechanical models of atoms provide legitimate explanations?’ Because our answer is positive, our next question is ‘Are the explanations provided by quantum mechanical models of atoms mechanistic explanations?’. This (...)
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  28. Improving chemistry teacher education with the philosophy of chemistry: Sibel Erduran and Ebru Kaya: Transforming teacher education through the epistemic core of chemistry: empirical evidence and practical strategies, Springer, Cham, 2019, xxiv + 189 pp, ISBN 978-3-030-15325-0.Agustín Adúriz-Bravo - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (3):459-463.
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  29. How Philosophy of Nature Needs Philosophy of Chemistry.Jean-Pierre Llored - 2016 - Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (47):93-108.
    This paper aims to highlight how the philosophy of chemistry could be of help for rethinking Nature today. To do so, we will point out: the co-definition of chemical relations and chemical relata within chemical activities; the constitutive role of the modes of intervention in the definition, always open and provisional, of “active” chemical bodies; and the mutual dependence of the levels of organization in chemistry. We will insist on the way chemists tailor networks of interdependencies within which chemical bodies (...)
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  30. Liquid Crystal Chemistry and Poetry.David Dunmur - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (2):277-287.
    This paper comments on a recent article “Revolutionary poetry and liquid crystal chemistry: Herman Gorter, Ada Prins and the interface between literature and science” by Hub Zwart, in which the author explores the influence of the liquid crystal research of Ada Prins on the epic poem Pan written by her long-time lover Herman Gorter. The present paper reviews the basic science of liquid crystals and explains the connections between the work of Prins and its influence on the poem. Other examples (...)
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  31. The Location and Composition of Group 3 of the Periodic Table.René E. Vernon - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (2):155-197.
    Group 3 as Sc–Y–La, rather than Sc–Y–Lu, dominates the literature. The history of this situation, including involvement by the IUPAC, is summarised. I step back from the minutiae of physical, chemical, and electronic properties and explore considerations of regularity and symmetry, natural kinds, and quantum mechanics, finding these to be inconclusive. Continuing the theme, a series of ten interlocking arguments, in the context of a chemistry-based periodic table, are presented in support of lanthanum in Group 3. In so doing, I (...)
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  32. An Analysis of the Difficulties Associated with Determining That a Reaction in Chemical Equilibrium is Incomplete.Kevin C. de Berg - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (2):253-275.
    There are inherent difficulties in a subject like chemistry particularly the notion of a chemical reaction. In this paper the difficulties are discussed from a teaching and learning perspective and from a history of chemistry perspective. Three teaching/learning studies of the incompleteness of the iron thiocyanate reaction in chemical equilibrium are reviewed and it is shown that a recent historical study of the iron thiocyanate reaction has the potential to challenge the interpretation of the incompleteness of the reaction. This establishes (...)
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  33. Mendeleyev Revisited.E. G. Marks & J. A. Marks - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (2):215-223.
    Despite the periodic table having been discovered by chemists half a century before the discovery of electronic structure, modern designs are invariably based on physicists’ definition of periods. This table is a chemists’ table, reverting to the phenomenal periods that led to the table’s discovery. In doing so, the position of hydrogen is clarified.
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  34. A problem with explaining the electron configuration of scandium.Geoffrey R. H. Neuss - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (2):239-245.
    The statements and arguments based on experimental evidence used to support the claim that the 3d sub-level is below the 4s sub-level in scandium are examined. The flaw in all the arguments is that they assume the order in which the 3d and 4s sub-levels arrange remains the same in both the neutral atom and in its ions. Analysis of the ground and excited states of atomic spectra shows that as the number of electrons relative to the nuclear charge increases, (...)
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  35. Geoff Rayner-Canham: The Periodic Table: Past Present, and Future: World Scientific Publishing, New Jersey, 2020.Eric Scerri - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (2):293-295.
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  36. Correction to: The location and composition of Group 3 of the periodic table.René E. Vernon - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (2):199-199.
    In the original publication of the article, the author has identified four belated corrections which are listed below.
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  37. Three related topics on the periodic tables of elements.Yoshiteru Maeno, Kouichi Hagino & Takehiko Ishiguro - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (2):201-214.
    A large variety of periodic tables of the chemical elements have been proposed. It was Mendeleev who proposed a periodic table based on the extensive periodic law and predicted a number of unknown elements at that time. The periodic table currently used worldwide is of a long form pioneered by Werner in 1905. As the first topic, we describe the work of Pfeiffer, who refined Werner’s work and rearranged the rare-earth elements in a separate table below the main table for (...)
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  38. Chemistry and dynamics in the thought of G.W. Leibniz I.Miguel Escribano-Cabeza - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (2):137-153.
    Chemistry and dynamics are closely related in G.W. Leibniz's thinking, from the corpuscularism of his youth to the theory of conspiracy movements that he proposes in his later years. Despite the importance of chemistry and chemical thought in Leibniz's philosophy, interpreters have not paid enough attention to this subject, especially in the recent decades. This work aims to contribute to filling this gap in Leibnizian studies. In this first part of the work I will expose the theory of matter that (...)
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  39. Logics for Algorithmic Chemistries.Ceth Lightfield - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (2):225-237.
    Algorithmic chemistries are often based on a fixed formalism which limits the fragment of chemistry expressible in the domain of the models. This results in limited applicability of the models in contemporary mathematical chemistry and is due to the poor fit between the logic used for model construction and the system being modeled. In this paper, I propose a system-oriented methodology which selects a formalism through a mapping of chemical transformation rules to proof-theoretic structural rules. Using a formal specification framework (...)
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  40. Review of Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino, The Chemical Philosophy of Robert Boyle: Mechanicism, Chymical Atoms and Emergence. Pp. X + 196, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020. [REVIEW]Alan Chalmers - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (2):289-291.
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  41. Response to Geoffrey Neuss on how to teach the 4s and 3d orbital conundrum.Eric Scerri - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (2):247-251.
    In the accompanying article in this issue Neuss challenges the explanation that was first suggested by Schwarz for how to teach the relative occupation and ionization of atomic orbitals in the atoms of metals in the first transition series. The present article is a response to Neuss’ critique which includes a detailed examination of his claim that there is no conclusive evidence for the view that the scandium and other first transition metal atoms lose 4s electrons in preference to those (...)
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  42. A Big Picture Perspective on the Philosophy of Chemistry: Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent and Richard-Emmanuel Eastes (Eds.): Philosophie de la Chimie. Deboeck Supérieur, 2020, 368 Pp, 39€. [REVIEW]Quentin Ruyant - 2021 - Metascience 30 (2):293-296.
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  43. A Tale of Seven Elements.Eric R. Scerri - 2013 - New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  44. Charles S. McCaw: Orbitals with applications in atomic spectra, 2nd edition.Eric R. Scerri - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (1):133-134.
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  45. Revolutionary Poetry and Liquid Crystal Chemistry: Herman Gorter, Ada Prins and the Interface Between Literature and Science.Hub Zwart - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (1):115-132.
    In the Netherlands, the poet Herman Gorter is mostly known as the author of the neo-romantic poem May and the “sensitivistic” Poems, but internationally he became famous as a propagandist of radical Marxism: the author of influential brochures and of an “open letter” to comrade W.I. Lenin in 1920. During the 1890s, Gorter became increasingly dissatisfied with his poetry, considering it as ego-centric, disinterested and “bourgeois”, unconnected with what was happening in the real world. He wanted to put his poetry (...)
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  46. Dreaming of a Universal Biology: Synthetic Biology and the Origins of Life.Massimiliano Simons - 2021 - Hyle: International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry 27:91-116.
    Synthetic biology aims to synthesize novel biological systems or redesign existing ones. The field has raised numerous philosophical questions, but most especially what is novel to this field. In this article I argue for a novel take, since the dominant ways to understand synthetic biology’s specificity each face problems. Inspired by the examination of the work of a number of chemists, I argue that synthetic biology differentiates itself by a new regime of articulation, i.e. a new way of articulating the (...)
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  47. Reconciling Micro- and Macro-Perspectives.Paul Needham - 1996 - In Peter Janich and Nikos Psarros (ed.), Die Sprache der Chemie. Würzburg, Tyskland: pp. 25-31.
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  48. Classical Atomism in Chemistry: Not a Success Story.Paul Needham - 2020 - In Ugo Zilioli (ed.), Atomism in Philosophy: A History from Antiquity to the Present. London, Storbritannien: pp. 457-469.
    Classical atoms—“part-less, ontologically irreducible simples” as the conference flyer puts it—are not the atoms of modern chemistry and analogies with the latter can be construed in various ways. They have figured in the historical development of concepts of chemical affinity but without, as Alan Chalmers and I have independently argued, making any significant contribution to empirically justified theories. A purely combinatorial conception of the formation of compounds by juxtaposing atoms is associated with Daltonian atomism. I review the merits of this (...)
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  49. Getting to Know the World Scientifically: An Objective View.Paul Needham - 2020 - Cham, Schweiz: Springer.
    This undergraduate textbook introduces some fundamental issues in philosophy of science for students of philosophy and science students. The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 deals with knowledge and values. Chap. 1 presents the classical conception of knowledge as initiated by the ancient Greeks and elaborated during the development of science, introducing the central concepts of truth, belief and justification. Aspects of the quest for objectivity are taken up in the following two chapters. Moral issues are broached in (...)
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  50. Referring to Chemical Elements and Compounds::Colourless Airs in Late Eighteenth Century Chemical Practice.Vanessa Seifert, James Ladyman & Geoffrey Blumenthal - 2020 - In Eric R. Scerri & Elena Ghibaudi (eds.), What Is A Chemical Element?: A Collection of Essays by Chemists, Philosophers, Historians, and Educators.
    How do we refer to chemical substances, and in particular to chemical elements? This question relates to many philosophical questions, including whether or not theories are incommensurable, the extent to which past theories are later discarded, and issues about scientific realism. This chapter considers the first explicit reference to types of colorless air in late-eighteenth-century chemical practice. Reference to a gas by one chemist was generally intended to give others epistemological, methodological, and practical access to the gas. This chapter proposes (...)
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