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  1. Stuff Versus Individuals.Lucía Lewowicz & Olimpia Lombardi - 2013 - Foundations of Chemistry 15 (1):65-77.
    The general question to be considered in this paper points to the nature of the world described by chemistry: what is macro-chemical ontology like? In particular, we want to identify the ontological categories that underlie chemical discourse and chemical practice. This is not an easy task, because modern Western metaphysics was strongly modeled by theoretical physics. For this reason, we attempt to answer our question by contrasting macro-chemical ontology with the mainstream ontology of physics and of traditional metaphysics. In particular, (...)
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  • The Orbital: A Pivotal Concept in the Relationship Between Chemistry and Physics? A Comment to the Work by Fortin and Coauthors.Giovanni Villani, Elena Ghibaudi & Luigi Cerruti - 2018 - Foundations of Chemistry 20 (2):89-97.
    The present work is a comment of a recent paper by Fortin and coauthors in which the authors propose the introduction of Bohmian mechanics in the philosophy of chemistry and the use of standard quantum mechanics as a mere instrument of prediction. This way would allow overcoming the obstacles found in linking molecular chemistry and quantum mechanics. Starting from some remarks on the orbital concept, we highlight and discuss some general issues that need to be taken into account when two (...)
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  • Linking Chemistry with Physics: Arguments and Counterarguments. [REVIEW]Olimpia Lombardi - 2014 - Foundations of Chemistry 16 (3):181-192.
    The many-faced relationship between chemistry and physics is one of the most discussed topics in the philosophy of chemistry. In his recent book Reducing Chemistry to Physics. Limits, Models, Consequences, Hinne Hettema conceives this relationship as a reduction link, and devotes his work to defend this position on the basis of a “naturalized” concept of reduction. In the present paper I critically review three kinds of issues stemming from Hettema’s argumentation: philosophical, scientific and methodological.
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  • On the Ontological Status of Molecular Structure: Is It Possible to Reconcile Molecular Chemistry with Quantum Mechanics?Sebastian Fortin, Martín Labarca & Olimpia Lombardi - unknown
    According to classical molecular chemistry, molecules have a structure, that is, they are sets of atoms with a definite arrangements in space and held together by chemical bonds. The concept of molecular structure is central to modern chemical thought given its impressive predictive power. It is also a very useful concept in chemistry education, due to its role in the rationalization and visualization of microscopic phenomena. However, such a concept seems to find no place in the ontology described by quantum (...)
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  • Two-step emergence: the quantum theory of atoms in molecules as a bridge between quantum mechanics and molecular chemistry.Chérif F. Matta, Olimpia Lombardi & Jesús Jaimes Arriaga - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (1):107-129.
    By moving away from the traditional reductionist reading of the quantum theory of atoms in molecules, in this paper we analyze the role played by QTAIM in the relationship between molecular chemistry and quantum mechanics from an emergentist perspective. In particular, we show that such a relationship involves two steps: an intra-domain emergence and an inter-domain emergence. Intra-domain emergence, internal to quantum mechanics, results from the fact that the electron density, from which all the other QTAIM’s concepts are defined, arises (...)
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  • Los orbitales cuánticos y la autonomía del mundo químico.Mariana Córdoba & Juan Camilo Martínez - 2014 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 29 (2):261-279.
    The analysis of the concept of orbital allows us to argue that—in opposition to a recent position in philosophy of science—it is impossible to defend the autonomy of the chemical reality in regard to physical reality, appealing to the idea that there is a conceptual rupture among a chemical interpretation and a quantuminterpretation of the concept. This is the case because there are not two different interpretations of the concept of orbital. On the contrary, the concept involved in structural chemistry (...)
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  • Acerca del estatuto ontológico de los fonones.Hernan Lucas Accorinti & Sebastian Fortin - 2020 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 24 (2).
    A los cristales se los describe como a una red de átomos que puede vibrar alrededor de su posición de equilibrio. Sin embargo, el hecho de que la energía de estas ondas esté cuantificada sugiere una analogía con el campo electromagnético. En analogía con el fotón se define al fonón. Generalmente se concibe al fonón como a una cuasi-partícula, es decir, como a un instrumento matemático útil en los cálculos pero sin una existencia propia. En este trabajo estudiamos el estatuto (...)
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  • The Case of Phonons: Explanatory or Ontological Priority.Hernán Lucas Accorinti, Sebastian Fortin, Manuel Herrera & Jesús Alberto Jaimes Arriaga - unknown
    Recent discussions about the microstructure of materials generally focus on the ontological aspects of the molecular structure. However, there are many types of substances that cannot be studied by means of the concept of molecule, for example, salts. For the quantum treatment of these substances, a new particle, called phonon, is introduced. Phonons are generally conceived as a pseudo-particle, that is, a mathematical device necessary to perform calculations but which does not have a "real" existence. In this context, the aim (...)
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  • About the Nature of the Wave Function and its Dimensionality: The Case of Quantum Chemistry.Sebastian Fortin & Jesús Alberto Jaimes Arriaga - unknown
    The problem of the 3N dimensions of the wave function is of particular interest in the philosophy of physics. In this work, we will recall the main positions about the nature and dimensionality of the wave function and we will introduce a new perspective, coming from quantum chemistry. For this, we will bring to light the formal operations that underlie the independent electron approximation. On this basis, we will point out how quantum chemistry can offer new arguments that contribute to (...)
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  • The Problem of Optical Isomerism and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Juan Martínez González - 2019 - Foundations of Chemistry 21 (1):97-107.
    When young Kant meditated upon the distinction between his right and left hands, he could not foresee that the problem of incongruent counterparts would revive in the twentieth century under a new form. In the early days of quantum chemistry, Friedrich Hund developed the so-called Hund paradox that arises from the supposed inability of quantum mechanics to account for the difference between enantiomers. In this paper, the paradox is expressed as a case of quantum measurement, stressing that decoherence does not (...)
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  • The Relationship Between Chemistry and Physics From the Perspective of Bohmian Mechanics.Sebastian Fortin, Olimpia Lombardi & Juan Camilo Martínez - unknown
    Although during the last decades the philosophy of chemistry has greatly extended its thematic scope, the main difficulties appear in the attempt to link the chemical description of atoms and molecules and the description supplied by quantum mechanics. The aim of this paper is to analyze how the difficulties that threaten the continuous conceptual link between molecular chemistry and quantum mechanics can be overcome or, at least, moderated from the perspective of BM. With this purpose, in “The quantum-mechanical challenges” section (...)
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  • Prigogine and the Many Voices of Nature.Olimpia Lombardi - 2012 - Foundations of Chemistry 14 (3):205-219.
    Ilya Prigogine was not a systematic author: his ideas, covering a wide arch of areas, are dispersed in his many writings. In particular, his philosophical thought has to be reconstructed mainly on the basis of his works in collaboration with Isabelle Stengers: La Nouvelle Alliance ( 1979 ), Order out of Chaos ( 1984 ), and Entre le Temps et l’Éternité ( 1988 ). In this paper I undertake that reconstruction in order to argue that Prigogine’s position, when read in (...)
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