David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1060-1070 (2004)
I consider a way the concept of causation could be excised from chemical practice, suggested by Kitcher's view that causes are just a subset of unifying patterns which play a particular psychological role for us. Kitcherian chemistry is at first blush well equipped to handle explanatory tasks. However, it would force chemists to accept certain unifying patterns as explanatory, which they do not think are at all explanatory. This might head off some descriptive lines of enquiry and damage prospects for the identification of potentially larger‐scale explanations. More important than this, to chemists, it could put them off from finding the explanatory patterns that are true—true because they get at the real structure of the chemical phenomena in the world.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Grant Fisher (2006). The Autonomy of Models and Explanation: Anomalous Molecular Rearrangements in Early Twentieth-Century Physical Organic Chemistry. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (4):562-584.
Similar books and articles
Eric Barnes (1992). Explanatory Unification and the Problem of Asymmetry. Philosophy of Science 59 (4):558-571.
Jeffry L. Ramsey (2008). Mechanisms and Their Explanatory Challenges in Organic Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 75 (5):970-982.
Jaegwon Kim (1981). Causes as Explanations: A Critique. Theory and Decision 13 (4):293.
Paul Needham (2004). When Did Atoms Begin to Do Any Explanatory Work in Chemistry? International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (2 & 3):199 – 219.
Robin Findlay Hendry (2004). The Physicists, the Chemists, and the Pragmatics of Explanation. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1048-1059.
William Goodwin (2007). Scientific Understanding After the Ingold Revolution in Organic Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 74 (3):386-408.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads29 ( #166,042 of 1,925,793 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #418,414 of 1,925,793 )
How can I increase my downloads?