When did atoms begin to do any explanatory work in chemistry?

During the 19th century atomism was a controversial issue in chemistry. It is an oversimplification to dismiss the critics' arguments as all falling under the general positivist view that what can't be seen can't be. The more interesting lines of argument either questioned whether any coherent notion of an atom had ever been formulated or questioned whether atoms were ever really given any explanatory role. At what point, and for what reasons, did atomistic hypotheses begin to explain anything in chemistry? It is argued that 19th-century atomic accounts of constant proportions and isomerism had little to offer, whereas a non-atomic explanation of chemical combination was developed. Not until the turn of the century did atomism begin to do serious explanatory work in chemistry.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/0269859042000296521
 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: 31,317
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Lack of Excellency of Boyle's Mechanical Philosophy.Alan Chalmers - 1993 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (4):541-564.
Duhem's Physicalism.P. Needham - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (1):33-62.
Space and the Chiral Molecule.Robin Le Poidevin - 2000 - In Nalini Bhushan & Stuart Rosenfeld (eds.), Of Minds and Molecules: New Philosophical Perspectives on Chemistry. New York: Oxford University Press.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
23 ( #245,487 of 2,223,805 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #423,227 of 2,223,805 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature