The aesthetics of molecular representation: From the empirical to the constitutive [Book Review]

Foundations of Chemistry 5 (3):215-236 (2003)
This paper examines the negative response to Dalton’s atomic symbols by situating them in the context of the normative eighteenth-century representational system of affinity tables. Aesthetic analysis of the affinity tables reveals them as schema embedded with a potent functionalist empiricism. In contrast, the aesthetics of Dalton's symbols is associated with hypothetico-deductivism and alchemical iconicism.
Keywords aesthetic functionalism  affinity tables  alchemical distancing  atomic symbols  chemical nomenclature
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DOI 10.1023/A:1025692518934
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