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  1. Was Duhem Justified in Not Distinguishing Between Physical and Chemical Atomism?Needham Paul - 2017 - Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science 2:108.
    Chemists in the late nineteenth century were apt to distinguish the theory of chemical structure they advocated as chemical, as opposed to physical, atomism. The failure on Duhem’s part to consider any such distinction in his critique of atomism might be taken to be a lacuna in his argument. Far from being a weakness in his stance, however, I argue that he had good systematic reasons for not taking such a distinction seriously.
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  • The Discovery That Water is H2O.Paul Needham - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (3):205 – 226.
    What are the criteria determining the individuation of chemical kinds? Recent philosophical discussion, which puts too much emphasis on microstructure, seems to presuppose a reductionist conception not motivated by the scientific facts. The present article traces the development of the traditional notion of a substance with the rise of modern chemistry from the end of the 18th century with a view to correcting this speculative distortion.
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  • New Perspectives on Pierre Duhem’s The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Anastasios Brenner, Paul Needham, David J. Stump & Robert Deltete - 2011 - Metascience 20 (1):1-25.
    New perspectives on Pierre Duhem’s The aim and structure of physical theory Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9467-3 Authors Anastasios Brenner, Department of Philosophy, Paul Valéry University-Montpellier III, Route De Mende, 34199 Montpellier cedex 5, France Paul Needham, Department of Philosophy, University of Stockholm, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden David J. Stump, Department of Philosophy, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA Robert Deltete, Department of Philosophy, Seattle University, 901 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122-1090, USA Journal Metascience (...)
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  • Chemical Atomism: A Case Study in Confirmation and Ontology.Joshua D. K. Brown - 2015 - Synthese 192 (2):453-485.
    Quine, taking the molecular constitution of matter as a paradigmatic example, offers an account of the relation between theory confirmation and ontology. Elsewhere, he deploys a similar ontological methodology to argue for the existence of mathematical objects. Penelope Maddy considers the atomic/molecular theory in more historical detail. She argues that the actual ontological practices of science display a positivistic demand for “direct observation,” and that fulfillment of this demand allows us to distinguish molecules and other physical objects from mathematical abstracta. (...)
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  • A Revisionist History of Atomism.Rom Harré, Paul Needham, Eric Scerri & Alan Chalmers - 2010 - Metascience 19 (3):349-371.
    Contribution to a symposium on Alan Chalmer's The Scientist’s Atom and the Philosopher’s Stone: How Science Succeeded and Philosophy Failed to Gain Knowledge of Atoms (Springer, Dordrecht, 2009).
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  • Matter, Structure, and Change: Aspects of the Philosophy of Chemistry.Michael Weisberg & Paul Needham - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (10):927-937.
    This article is an overview of some of the contemporary debates in philosophy of chemistry. We discuss the nature of chemical substances, the individuation of chemical kinds, the relationship between chemistry and physics, and the nature of the chemical bond.
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  • Dalton’s Chemical Atoms Versus Duhem’s Chemical Equivalents.Karen R. Zwier - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):842-853.
    Paul Needham has claimed in several recent papers that Dalton’s chemical atomism was not explanatory. I respond to his criticism of Dalton by arguing that explanation admits of degrees and that under a view that allows for a spectrum of explanatory value, it is possible to see ample worth in Dalton’s atomistic explanations. Furthermore, I argue that even Duhem, who rejected atomism, acknowledged the explanatory worth of Dalton’s atomism.
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  • What Did “Theory” Mean to Nineteenth-Century Chemists?Alan Rocke - 2013 - Foundations of Chemistry 15 (2):145-156.
    Some recent philosophers of science have argued that chemistry in the nineteenth century “largely lacked theoretical foundations, and showed little progress in supplying such foundations” until around 1900, or even later. In particular, nineteenth-century atomic theory, it is said, “played no useful part” in the crowning achievement of nineteenth-century chemistry, the powerful subdiscipline of organic chemistry. This paper offers a contrary view. The idea that chemistry only gained useful theoretical foundations when it began to merge with physics, it will be (...)
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