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  1. 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 - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-42.
    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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  2. Making sense of a pedagogic text.Keith S. Taber - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-25.
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  3. A simple treatment of chemical equilibrium.Peter G. Nelson - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-9.
    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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  4. Eric Scerri and Elena Ghibaudi, eds: What is an element? A collection of essays by chemists, philosophers, historians, and educators.Peter J. Ramberg - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-9.
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  5. A Tale of Seven Elements.Eric R. Scerri - 2013 - New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  6. Is the problem of molecular structure just the quantum measurement problem?Sebastian Fortin & Olimpia Lombardi - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-17.
    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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  7. What is an organic substance?Lee J. Silverberg - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-8.
    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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  8. Mendeleyev Revisited.E. G. Marks & J. A. Marks - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-9.
    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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  9. 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 - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-3.
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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. Response to Geoffrey Neuss on how to teach the 4s and 3d orbital conundrum.Eric Scerri - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-5.
    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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  14. An Analysis of the Difficulties Associated with Determining That a Reaction in Chemical Equilibrium is Incomplete.Kevin C. De Berg - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-23.
    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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  15. A problem with explaining the electron configuration of scandium.Geoffrey R. H. Neuss - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-7.
    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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  16. Liquid Crystal Chemistry and Poetry.David Dunmur - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-11.
    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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  17. Logics for Algorithmic Chemistries.Ceth Lightfield - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-13.
    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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. Correction to: The location and composition of Group 3 of the periodic table.René E. Vernon - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-1.
    In the original publication of the article, the author has identified four belated corrections which are listed below.
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  22. Geoff Rayner-Canham: The Periodic Table: Past Present, and Future.Eric Scerri - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-3.
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  23. 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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  24. The Location and Composition of Group 3 of the Periodic Table.René E. Vernon - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry.
    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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  25. A new definition of reduction between two scientific theories: no reduction of chemistry to quantum mechanics.Antonino Drago - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (3):421-445.
    All suggested notions of reduction of two scientific theories are critically reviewed and analyzed. In particular those applied to the case of the alleged reduction of Chemistry to Quantum mechanics are examined. Since it is recognized that the weakness of this field of research is the lack of a definition of a scientific theory, it is suggested that a scientific theory is characterized by two choices regarding two dichotomies, that is, the kind of mathematics and the kind of logic. According (...)
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  26. Three related topics on the periodic tables of elements.Yoshiteru Maeno, Kouichi Hagino & Takehiko Ishiguro - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-14.
    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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  27. Guest-editorial.Elena Ghibaudi & Luigi Cerruti - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (3):349-351.
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  28. On Vague Chemistry.Apostolos Syropoulos - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (1):105-113.
    Generally, an object is vague when its properties cannot precisely defined. The ontic view of vagueness is the idea that vagueness is a fundamental property of Nature. This simply means that everything is vague: animals, plants, molecules, atoms, etc. Furthermore, if atoms and molecules are vague, then the subject matter of chemistry is vague. However, we first need to understand why molecules and atoms are vague.
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  29. The QSAR Similarity Principle in the Deep Learning Era: Confirmation or Revision?Giuseppina Gini - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (3):383-402.
    Structure–activity relationship and quantitative SAR are modeling methods largely used in assessing biological properties of chemical substances. QSAR is based on the hypothesis that the chemical structure is responsible for the activity; it follows that similar molecules are expected to have similar properties. Similarity plays an important role in read across, which categorizes molecules primarily on the basis of similarity. Similarity, and chemical similarity too, is a property differently perceived by humans. The various proposed metrics often disagree with human judgment, (...)
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  30. On the early thermodynamic and kinetic deductions of the equilibrium constant equation.Juan Quílez - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (1):85-103.
    After briefly presenting the first formulation of the equilibrium constant stated by Guldberg and Waage, this study examines the early thermodynamic and kinetic deductions of the equilibrium law. Firstly, it is discussed how Horstmann applied the concept of entropy to chemical equilibrium reactions, which meant the first thermodynamic explanation of the Guldberg-Waage law of mass action proposed in 1864. A different theoretical derivation of the equilibrium constant came from the works of van’t Hoff. This study analyses the first accurate kinetic (...)
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  31. Chemistry and dynamics in the thought of G.W. Leibniz I.Miguel Escribano-Cabeza - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-17.
    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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  32. Revolutionary Poetry and Liquid Crystal Chemistry: Herman Gorter, Ada Prins and the Interface Between Literature and Science.Hub Zwart - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (1):1-18.
    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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  33. Chemistry and dynamics in the thought of G.W. Leibniz II.Miguel Escribano-Cabeza - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (1):3-16.
    Is Leibnizian dynamics the New Physics sought in his youth to provide a solution to the problem of body unity/composition? This question can only be answered tentatively. The thesis that I will develop in this second part is that chemical-combinatoria project is not complete without some ideas of dynamics. The idea of form, which since the early Leibniz’s philosophy is projected to give a foundation to the corpuscular theory, only reaches this objective with the theory of conspiring movements that Leibniz (...)
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  34. Chemistry is pluralistic.Klaus Ruthenberg & Ave Mets - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (3):403-419.
    Recently, philosophers have come forth with approaches to chemistry based on its actual practice, imparting to it a proper aim and character of its own. These approaches add to the currently growing movement of pluralist philosophies of science. We draw on recent pluralist accounts from chemistry and analyse three notions from modern chemical practice and theory in terms of these accounts, in order to complement the so far more general pluralist approaches with specific evidence. Our survey reveals that the concept (...)
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  35. Organic chemistry as representation.Eamonn F. Healy - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (1):59-68.
    Electron redistribution is the cornerstone of our understanding of chemical reactivity. For the vast majority of organic reactions electrons are assumed to move in pairs providing explanatory mechanisms through the generation of intermediate structures. But for many transformations these discrete steps are idealized constructs, involving intermediates assumed but not empirically justified. This unitary perspective predicated on the curved arrow formalism has resulted in the scenario where for many organic transformations our supposed understanding far surpasses our growing knowledge. Reformulating organic mechanisms (...)
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  36. How Mendeleev issued his predictions: comment on Andrea Woody.Chris Campbell & Karoliina Pulkkinen - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):197-215.
    Much has been said about the accuracy of the famous predictions of the Russian chemist Dmitrii Ivanovich Mendeleev, but far less has been written on how he made his predictions. Here we offer an explanation on how Mendeleev used his periodic system to predict both physical and chemical properties of little-known and entirely unknown chemical elements. We argue that there seems to be compelling evidence in favour of Mendeleev genuinely relying on his periodic system in the course of issuing his (...)
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  37. Elements of Chemistry: Eric Scerri: The Periodic Table: Its Story and its Significance. 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 472 Pp, £22.99, ISBN: 978-0-19-091436-3.John Emsley - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):275-277.
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  38. A Nuclear Periodic Table.K. Hagino & Y. Maeno - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):267-273.
    There has been plenty of empirical evidence which shows that the single-particle picture holds to a good approximation in atomic nuclei. In this picture, protons and neutrons move independently inside a mean-field potential generated by an interaction among the nucleons. This leads to the concept of nuclear shells, similar to the electronic shells in atoms. In particular, the magic numbers due to closures of the nucleonic shells, corresponding to noble gases in elements, have been known to play an important role (...)
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  39. Binódic periodic system: a mathematical approach.Julio Antonio Gutiérrez Samanez - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):235-266.
    This article discusses the mathematizing of the chemical periodic system as a grid, which leads to a quadratic function or “binódica function” formed by pairs of periods or binodos. We describe the periodic law as an increasing function of the principal quantum number. It works subject to the dialectical laws that generate; first: gradual quantitative changes:, with “duplication” of periods:. Second: radical quantitative changes:, with the emergence of new quantum transitions, growth and a change in the format of the binodos. (...)
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  40. Organising the Metals and Nonmetals.René E. Vernon - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):217-233.
    The periodic table can be simply demarcated into four classes of metal and four classes of nonmetal. Such a treatment has been obstructed by the traditional view of metalloids as in-between elements; understandable but needless boundary squabbles; and a group-by-group view of the reactive nonmetals. Setting aside these limiting notions reveals some interesting patterns and facilitates teaching and learning the periodic table.
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  41. Correction to: 4D-cubic lattice of chemical elements.Haresh Lalvani - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):195-195.
    In the original publication of the article under the Acknowledgements section, a contributor name was missed out. The corrected statement should read as follows.
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  42. A scale of atomic electronegativity in terms of atomic nucleophilicity index.Hiteshi Tandon, Tanmoy Chakraborty & Vandana Suhag - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):335-346.
    Electronegativity is an important physico-chemical concept to study the chemical structure and reactivity. Although, the conundrum related to measurement of electronegativity still persists. In view of this fact, a simple yet rigorous scale of electronegativity, invoking an inverse relationship with atomic nucleophilicity index, has been proposed for 103 elements of the periodic table. The computed data follows periodicity distinctly satisfying all the sine qua non of a standard scale of electronegativity. Further, electronegativity values display a sound similarity with the standard (...)
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  43. 4D-Cubic Lattice of Chemical Elements.Haresh Lalvani - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):147-194.
    A 4-dimensional periodic table of chemical elements is presented. The 120 elements in the n = 8 system are located on vertices of a 4D-cubic lattice and specified by Cartesian coordinates based on the four quantum numbers. Each quantum number is represented by a vector along a different spatial direction in 4D Euclidean space. The 4D PT has a fixed topology governed by Euler–Poincare-type equation and the chemical elements have a fixed connectivity with neighboring elements within the 4D PT. Various (...)
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  44. Structure, shape, topology: entangled concepts in molecular chemistry.Elena Ghibaudi, Luigi Cerruti & Giovanni Villani - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):279-307.
    The concepts of molecular structure and molecular shape are ubiquitous in the chemical literature, where they are often taken as synonyms, with unavoidable drawbacks in chemistry teaching. A third concept, molecular topology, is less frequent but it is a reference term in molecular research domains such as Quantitative Structure–Activity Relationships. The present paper proposes an epistemological analysis of these three notions, aimed at clarifying the nature of their relationship, as well as the contiguities and differences between them. At first, we (...)
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  45. Conceptual confusion in the chemistry curriculum: exemplifying the problematic nature of representing chemical concepts as target knowledge.Keith S. Taber - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):309-334.
    This paper considers the nature of a curriculum as presented in formal curriculum documents, and the inherent difficulties of representing formal disciplinary knowledge in a prescription for teaching and learning. The general points are illustrated by examining aspects of a specific example, taken from the chemistry subject content included in the science programmes of study that are part of the National Curriculum in England. In particular, it is suggested that some statements in the official curriculum document are problematic if we (...)
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  46. Conceptual confusion in the chemistry curriculum: exemplifying the problematic nature of representing chemical concepts as target knowledge.Keith S. Taber - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):309-334.
    This paper considers the nature of a curriculum as presented in formal curriculum documents, and the inherent difficulties of representing formal disciplinary knowledge in a prescription for teaching and learning. The general points are illustrated by examining aspects of a specific example, taken from the chemistry subject content included in the science programmes of study that are part of the National Curriculum in England. In particular, it is suggested that some statements in the official curriculum document are problematic if we (...)
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  47. A Relational-Constructionist Account of Protein Macrostructure and Function.Gil Santos, Gabriel Vallejos & Davide Vecchi - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (3):363-382.
    One of the foundational problems of biochemistry concerns the conceptualisation of the relationship between the composition, structure and function of macromolecules like proteins. Part of the recent philosophical literature displays a reductionist bias, that is, the endorsement of a form of microstructuralism mirroring an out-dated biochemical conceptualisation. We shall argue that such microstructuralist approaches are ultimately committed to a potentialist form of micro-predeterminism whereby the macrostructure and function of proteins is accounted for solely in terms of the intrinsic properties and (...)
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  48. Ontological Status of Time in Chemistry.N. Sukumar - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (3):353-361.
    While temporal considerations are of prime importance for chemical reactions, as well as for molecular stability, most chemical concepts are not explicitly formulated on a diachronic basis. It will be argued here that a formulation explicitly incorporating temporal and epistemological considerations enables us to treat chemical reactions and chemical substances on ontologically equivalent terms, instead of assigning a more fundamental status to the latter. After all, in collision theory, a chemical substance is just a collision complex that takes too long. (...)
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  49. Prediction, accommodation and the periodic table: a reappraisal.Sergio Gabriele Maria Sereno - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (3):477-488.
    The history of the diffusion and confirmation of Mendeleev’s periodic table of elements has proven to be a challenging testbed for contemporary philosophical debates on the role of predictions in science. More than ten years of fruitful literature came after Scerri and Worrall :407–452, 2001) versus Maher and Lipton ; nevertheless, such a long-lasting debate left quite a few open questions. The aim of this contribution is to go through the various cases that emerged during the debate, in an effort (...)
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  50. How to investigate the underpinnings of sciences? The case of the element chlorine.Sarah Hijmans & Jean-Pierre Llored - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (3):447-456.
    In recent publications, Harré and Llored Challenges of cultural psychology, Routledge, London, pp 189–206, 2018a; Philosophy, 93:167–186, 2018b; The analysis of practices, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2019) take the role of philosophy of science as a digging out of the ‘hinges’, that are the tacit elements of a discipline. In this perspective, the philosophy of chemistry consists, at least partly, in making explicit the hinges on which chemistry turns and in examining their origins and logical status. In this (...)
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