The foundations of modern organic chemistry: The rise of the highes and Ingold theory from 1930–1942 [Book Review]

Foundations of Chemistry 2 (2):99-125 (2000)
The foundations of modern organic chemistry were laid by the seminal work of Hughes and Ingold. The rise from being an interesting alternative hypothesis in 1933 to being the leading theory (outside the USA) in 1942 was achieved by a multiplicity of methods. This include:the construction of a new scientific notation, the rationalisation of some seemingly contradictory reported data, the refutation of the experimental work of one of their persistent critics, the use of conceptual arguments and also the achievement of a score of successful predictions which exceeded the score of unsuccessful predictions. Within the USA it was felt that the Hughes/Ingold system, whilst representing a considerable advance, had achieved spectacular success in spite ofits attractively simple basic assumptions, and represented merely an interim stage on the way towards a more comprehensive theory. However,the flexible, simple notation was adopted without modification, leading to a change in the way practitioners of synthetic organic chemistry were, and still are, trained to think. In a conclusion the author claims that this historical episode does not lend any support to the philosophical position of Thomas Kuhn
Keywords Philosophy   Chemistry/Food Science, general   Physical Chemistry   Philosophy of Science   History
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1009942227721
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