Fundamental theories and their empirical patches

Foundations of Chemistry 10 (3):147-156 (2008)
Many theories require empirical patches or ad hoc assumptions to work properly in application to chemistry. Some examples include the Bohr quantum theory of atomic spectra, the Pauli exclusion principle, the Marcus theory of the rate-equilibrium correlation, Kekule’s hypothesis of bond oscillation in benzene, and the quantum calculation of reaction pathways. Often the proposed refinements do not grow out of the original theory but are devised and added ad hoc. This brings into question the goal of constructing theories derived from first principles and the concept of ranking the merit of theories according to their freedom from empirical contamination.
Keywords Merit of theories  Empirical content  Pragmatic imperatives
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10698-008-9046-5
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 31,786
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Miraculous Choice Argument for Realism.E. C. Barnes - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 111 (2):97 - 120.
Mathematics and Reality.Mary Leng - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
On Causal Loops in the Quantum Realm.Joseph Berkovitz - 2002 - In T. Placek & J. Butterfield (eds.), Non-Locality and Modality. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 235--257.
Coherence Between Theories.Mohamed Elsamahi - 2005 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (2):331-352.
Dynamics of Theory Change in Chemistry: Part 1. The Benzene Problem 1865-1945.G. S. - 1999 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (1):21-79.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
31 ( #188,285 of 2,231,534 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #264,176 of 2,231,534 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature