Another scientific practice separating chemistry from physics: Thought experiments [Book Review]

Foundations of Chemistry 8 (3):255-270 (2006)

Abstract
Thought experiments in the history of science display a striking asymmetry between chemistry and physics, namely that chemistry seems to lack well-known examples, whereas physics presents many famous examples. This asymmetry, I argue, is not independent data concerning the chemistry/physics distinction. The laws of chemistry such as the periodic table are incurably special, in that they make testable predictions only for a very restricted range of physical conditions in the universe which are necessarily conditioned by the contingences of chemical investigation. The argument depends on how ‚thought experiment’ is construed. Here, several recent accounts of thought experiments are surveyed to help formulate what I call ‚crucial’ thought experiments. These have a historical role in helping to judge between hypotheses in physics, but are not helpful in chemistry past or present.
Keywords Philosophy   Physical Chemistry   History   Chemistry/Food Science, general   Philosophy of Science
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DOI 10.1007/s10698-006-9019-5
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References found in this work BETA

Thought Experiments.Roy A. Sorensen - 1992 - Oxford University Press.
Are Thought Experiments Just What You Thought?John D. Norton - 1996 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):333 - 366.
Galileo and the Indispensability of Scientific Thought Experiment.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (3):397-424.

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Citations of this work BETA

Why the Method of Cases Doesn’T Work.Christopher Suhler - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (4):825-847.
Causality, Teleology, and Thought Experiments in Biology.Marco Buzzoni - 2015 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (2):279-299.

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