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Paul Needham
Stockholm University
  1.  88
    Microessentialism: What is the Argument?Paul Needham - 2011 - Noûs 45 (1):1-21.
    According to microessentialism, it is necessary to resort to microstructure in order to adequately characterise chemical substances such as water. But the thesis has never been properly supported by argument. Kripke and Putnam, who originally proposed the thesis, suggest that a so-called stereotypical characterisation is not possible, whereas one in terms of microstructure is. However, the sketchy outlines given of stereotypical descriptions hardly support the impossibility claim. On the other hand, what naturally stands in contrast to microscopic description is description (...)
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  2. What is Water?Paul Needham - 2000 - Analysis 60 (1):13–21.
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  3.  65
    The Discovery That Water is H2O.Paul Needham - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (3):205 – 226.
    What are the criteria determining the individuation of chemical kinds? Recent philosophical discussion, which puts too much emphasis on microstructure, seems to presuppose a reductionist conception not motivated by the scientific facts. The present article traces the development of the traditional notion of a substance with the rise of modern chemistry from the end of the 18th century with a view to correcting this speculative distortion.
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  4. Nagel's Analysis of Reduction: Comments in Defense as Well as Critique.Paul Needham - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (2):163-170.
    Despite all the criticism showered on Nagel’s classic account of reduction, it meets a fundamental desideratum in an analysis of reduction that is difficult to question, namely of providing for a proper identification of the reducing theory. This is not clearly accommodated in radically different accounts. However, the same feature leads me to question Nagel’s claim that the reducing theory can be separated from the putative bridge laws, and thus to question his notion of heterogeneous reduction. A further corollary to (...)
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  5.  44
    Is Water a Mixure?: Bridging the Distinction Between Physical and Chemical Properties.Paul Needham - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (1):66-77.
    Two inter-linked theses are defended in this paper. One is the Duhemian theme that a rigid distinction between physical and chemical properties cannot be upheld. Duhem maintained this view not because the latter are reducible to the former, but because if physics is to remain consistent with chemistry it must prove possible to expand it to accommodate new features, and a rigid distinction would be a barrier to this process. The second theme is that naturally occurring isotopic variants of water (...)
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  6. Macroscopic Mixtures.Paul Needham - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (1):26-52.
    This paper takes up issues related to the notion of chemical substances arising from their mereological and modal features. Related notions are elements and compounds, into which substances are sub-divided, and the general notion of mixture, which as a special case might involve several substances, but covers other cases too. These are essentially macroscopic concepts. Some of the chemical arguments for this claim have been presented elsewhere. The present paper is a metaphysical treatment of matter as categorised by the major (...)
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  7.  87
    Reduction and Emergence: A Critique of Kim.Paul Needham - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 146 (1):93-116.
    In a recent critique of the doctrine of emergentism championed by its classic advocates up to C. D. Broad, Jaegwon Kim (Philosophical Studies 63:31–47, 1999) challenges their view about its applicability to the sciences and proposes a new account of how the opposing notion of reduction should be understood. Kim is critical of the classic conception advanced by Nagel and uses his new account in his criticism of emergentism. I question his claims about the successful reduction achieved in the sciences (...)
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  8. Duhem and Cartwright on the Truth of Laws.Paul Needham - 1991 - Synthese 89 (1):89 - 109.
    Nancy Cartwright has drawn attention to how explanations are actually given in mathematical sciences. She argues that these procedures support an antirealist thesis that fundamental explanatory laws are not true. Moreover, she claims to be be essentially following Duhem's line of thought in developing this thesis. Without wishing to detract from the importance of her observations, it is suggested that they do not necessarily require the antirealist thesis. The antirealist interpretation of Duhem is also disputed. It is argued that Duhemian (...)
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  9. Ontological Reduction: A Comment on Lombardi and Labarca.Paul Needham - 2006 - Foundations of Chemistry 8 (1):73-80.
    In a recent article in this journal (Foundations of Chemistry, 7 (2005), 125–148) Lombardi and Labarca call into question a thesis of ontological reduction to which several writers on reduction subscribe despite rejecting a thesis of epistemological reduction. Lombardi and Labarca advocate instead a pluralistic ontology inspired by Putnam’s internal realism. I suggest that it is not necessary to go so far, and that a more critical view of the ontological reduction espoused by the authors they criticise circumvents the need (...)
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  10.  49
    Duhem's Physicalism.Paul Needham - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (1):33-62.
    Duhem is often described as an anti-realist or instrumentalist. A contrary view has recently been expressed by Martin (1991) (Pierre Duhem: Philosophy and History in the Work of a Believing Physicist (La Salle, IL: Open Court)), who suggests that this interpretation makes it difficult to understand the vantage point from which Duhem argues in La science allemande (1915) that deduction, however impeccable, cannot establish truths unless it begins with truths. In the same spirit, the present paper seeks to establish that (...)
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  11.  35
    When Did Atoms Begin to Do Any Explanatory Work in Chemistry?Paul Needham - 2004 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (2 & 3):199 – 219.
    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? (...)
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  12.  42
    Duhem’s Theory of Mixture in the Light of the Stoic Challenge to the Aristotelian Conception.Paul Needham - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (4):685-708.
    The bulk of Duhem's writing which bears on the understanding of mixtures suggests he adopted an Aristotelian position which he opposed only to the atomic view. A third view from antiquity-that of the Stoics-seems not to be taken into account. But his lines of thought are not always as explicit as could be wished. The Stoic view is considered here from a perspective which Duhem might well have adopted. This provides a background against which his somewhat unorthodox Aristotelianism might be (...)
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  13.  84
    Temporal intervals and temporal order.Paul Needham - 1981 - Logique Et Analyse 24 (93):51.
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  14.  43
    Resisting Chemical Atomism: Duhem’s Argument.Paul Needham - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):921-931.
    Late nineteenth‐century opponents of atomism questioned whether the evidence required any notion of an atom. In this spirit, Duhem developed an account of the import of chemical formulas that is clearly neutral on the atomic question rather than antiatomistic. The argument is supplemented with specific inadequacies of atomic theories of chemical combination and considerably strengthened by the theory of chemical combination provided by thermodynamics. Despite possible counterevidence available at the time, which should have tempered some of Duhem's concluding remarks, there (...)
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  15. Elements.Paul Needham - 2017 - In Stamatios Gerogiorgakis, Johanna Seibt & Guido Imaguire (eds.), Handbook of Mereology. München, Tyskland: pp. 197-200.
  16.  42
    Duhem and Quine.Paul Needham - 2000 - Dialectica 54 (2):109-132.
    The rejection of the idea that the so‐called Duhem‐Quine thesis in fact expresses a thesis upheld by either Duhem or Quine invites a more detailed comparison of their views. It is suggested that the arguments of each have a certain impact on the positions maintained by the other. In particular, Quine's development of his notion of ontological commitment is enlisted in the interpretation of Duhem's position. It is argued that this counts against the instrumentalist construal usually put on what Duhem (...)
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  17.  22
    Making Theorem-Proving in Modal Logic Easy.Paul Needham - 2009 - In Lars-Göran Johansson, Jan Österberg & Rysiek Śliwiński (eds.), Logic, Ethics and All That Jazz: Essays in Honour of Jordan Howard Sobel. Uppsala, Sverige: pp. 187-202.
    A system for the modal logic K furnishes a simple mechanical process for proving theorems.
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  18.  31
    Has Daltonian Atomism Provided Chemistry with Any Explanations?Paul Needham - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1038-1047.
    Philosophers frequently cite Dalton's chemical atomism, and its nineteenth century developments, as a prime example of inference to the best explanation. This was a controversial issue in its time. But the critics are dismissed as positivist‐inspired antirealists with no interest in explanation. Is this a reasonable assessment?
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  19.  67
    Philosophy of Chemistry.Michael Weisberg, Paul Needham & Robin Hendry - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Chemistry is the study of the structure and transformation of matter. When Aristotle founded the field in the 4th century BCE, his conceptual grasp of the nature of matter was tailored to accommodate a relatively simple range of observable phenomena. In the 21st century, chemistry has become the largest scientific discipline, producing over half a million publications a year ranging from direct empirical investigations to substantial theoretical work. However, the specialized interest in the conceptual issues arising in chemistry, hereafter Philosophy (...)
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  20.  32
    A Revisionist History of Atomism: Chalmers, Alan. The Scientist’s Atom and the Philosopher’s Stone: How Science Succeeded and Philosophy Failed to Gain Knowledge of Atoms. 2009, Springer, 288 Pp, €99,95 HB.Rom Harré, Paul Needham, Eric Scerri & Alan Chalmers - 2010 - Metascience 19 (3):349-371.
    Contribution to a symposium on Alan Chalmer's The Scientist’s Atom and the Philosopher’s Stone: How Science Succeeded and Philosophy Failed to Gain Knowledge of Atoms (Springer, Dordrecht, 2009).
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  21.  16
    Macroscopic Metaphysics: Middle-Sized Objects and Longish Processes.Paul Needham - 2017 - Springer.
    This book is about matter. It involves our ordinary concept of matter in so far as this deals with enduring continuants that stand in contrast to the occurrents or processes in which they are involved, and concerns the macroscopic realm of middle-sized objects of the kind familiar to us on the surface of the earth and their participation in medium term processes. The emphasis will be on what science rather than philosophical intuition tells us about the world, and on chemistry (...)
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  22. Transient Things and Permanent Stuff.Paul Needham - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):147 – 166.
    A view of individuals as constituted of quantities of matter, both understood as continuants enduring over time, is elaborated in some detail. Constitution is a three-place relation which can't be collapsed to identity because of the place-holder for a time and because individuals and quantities of matter have such a radically different character. Individuals are transient entities with limited lifetimes, whereas quantities are permanent existents undergoing change in physical and chemical properties from time to time. Coincidence, considered as a matter (...)
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  23.  43
    Hydrogen Bonding: Homing in on a Tricky Chemical Concept.Paul Needham - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):51-65.
    The history of the hydrogen bond provides a good example of the of an important chemical concept. It illustrates the interplay between empirical and theoretical approaches to the problem of delimiting what has proved to be quite an elusive notion, with chemists whittling away at the particular sorts of case with a view to obtaining a precise, unitary concept. Even though there is a return to a more theoretically inspired notion in more recent research, empirical characterisations remain a feature of (...)
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  24.  33
    Mixtures and Modality.Paul Needham - 2004 - Foundations of Chemistry 7 (1):103-118.
    Some points are made aboutsubstance properties in their role ofintroducing mass terms. In particular, twoconditions of distributivity and cumulativityof mass predicates expressing these propertiesare not the independent pair they first appearto be. A classification of macroscopicsubstance concepts is developed. This needs tobe complemented in some way by the introductionof a modal qualification reminiscent ofAristotle's distinction between actual andpotential presence of substances in a mixture. Consideration of the latter feature hasprompted Joe Earley to raise the question ofwhether there is any salt (...)
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  25.  37
    The Source of Chemical Bonding.Paul Needham - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45:1-13.
    Developments in the application of quantum mechanics to the understanding of the chemical bond are traced with a view to examining the evolving conception of the covalent bond. Beginning with the first quantum mechanical resolution of the apparent paradox in Lewis’s conception of a shared electron pair bond by Heitler and London, the ensuing account takes up the challenge molecular orbital theory seemed to pose to the classical conception of the bond. We will see that the threat of delocalisation can (...)
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  26.  27
    Natural Kind Thingamajigs.Paul Needham - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (1):97 - 101.
    I criticize the treatment of natural kinds as some sort of object, advocated in a recent paper by Alexander Bird. The arguments he gives for regimenting an illustrative statement featuring chemical kinds in his preferred manner are not conclusive, and his criticisms of an alternative strategy involving universally quantified sentences fail. This is important because of the widespread but poorly supported assumption that expressions of natural kinds should be treated as singular referring terms.
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  27.  30
    Aristotelian Chemistry: A Prelude to Duhemian Metaphysics.Paul Needham - 1996 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 27 (2):251-269.
    In 1904 Joachim published an influential paper dealing with 'Aristotle's Conception of Chemical Combination' which has provided the basis of much more recent studies. About the same time, Duhem developed what he regarded as an essentially Aristotelian view of chemistry, based on his understanding of phenomenological thermodynamics. He does not present a detailed textual analysis, but rather emphasises certain general ideas. Joachim's classic paper contains obscurities which I have been unable to fathom and theses which do not seem to be (...)
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  28.  30
    Macroscopic Objects: An Exercise in Duhemian Ontology.Paul Needham - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (2):205-224.
    Aristotelian ideas are presented in a favorable light in Duhem's historical works surveying the history of the notion of chemical combination (1902) and the development of mechanics (1903). The importance Duhem was later to ascribe to Aristotelian ideas as reflected in the weight he attached to medieval science is well known. But the Aristotelian influence on his own mature philosophical perspective, and more particularly on his concern for logical coherence and the development of his ontological views, is not generally acknowledged. (...)
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  29. One Substance or More?Paul Needham - 2015 - In Eric Scerri & Lee McIntyre (eds.), Philosophy of Chemistry: Growth of a New Discipline. Berlin, Tyskland: Springer. pp. 91-105.
    Chemistry builds on distinctions of substance, which presupposes that matter can be divided into substances and compared with other matter and itself on different occasions as being of the same substance. Even identifying a quantity of matter as comprising a single substance presupposes the same substance relation, it being a quantity all of whose spatial parts are the same substance. But criteria of purity have been important for isolating substances and investigating their characteristic properties, which can in turn be used (...)
     
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  30.  1
    An Aristotelian Theory of Chemical Substance.Paul Needham - 2009 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 12 (1):149-164.
    In the course of developing his theory of what would now be called chemical substance, Aristotle introduces what appear to be two distinct definitions of element alongside his notion of mixt (homogeneous mixture). The present paper is concerned with the integration of these ideas in a uniform theory, which calls for some speculation about the import of elemental proportions in compounds.
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  31. New Perspectives on Pierre Duhem’s The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Anastasios Brenner, Paul Needham, David J. Stump & Robert Deltete - 2011 - Metascience 20 (1):1-25.
    New perspectives on Pierre Duhem’s The aim and structure of physical theory Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9467-3 Authors Anastasios Brenner, Department of Philosophy, Paul Valéry University-Montpellier III, Route De Mende, 34199 Montpellier cedex 5, France Paul Needham, Department of Philosophy, University of Stockholm, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden David J. Stump, Department of Philosophy, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA Robert Deltete, Department of Philosophy, Seattle University, 901 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122-1090, USA Journal Metascience (...)
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  32.  3
    Introduction.Theresa Smith, Nicholas Pickwoad, Paul Needham, Manfred Mayer, Oliver Hahn, Irene Brückle & Horst Bredekamp - 2014 - In Paul Needham, Irene Brückle & Horst Bredekamp (eds.), A Galileo Forgery: Unmasking the New York Sidereus Nuncius. De Gruyter. pp. 9-14.
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  33.  41
    Substance and Modality.Paul Needham - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):829-840.
    The Aristotelian distinction between actual and potential presence of a substance in a mixture forms part of a conception of mixture which stands in contrast to atomist and Stoic theories as propounded by the ancients. But the central ideas on which these theories are built need not be combined and opposed to one another in precisely the ways envisaged by these ancient theories. This is well illustrated by Duhem, who maintained the Aristotelian idea that the original ingredients are only potentially, (...)
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  34.  12
    Questioning the Justification of Past Science (Review of "Is Water H2O? Evidence, Realism and Pluralism").Paul Needham - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):85 - 93.
    Review article of Hasok Chang, Is Water H2O?: Evidence, Realism and Pluralism, Springer, Dordrecht, 2012.
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  35. Substitution: Duhem's Explication of a Chemical Paradigm.Paul Needham - 1996 - Perspectives on Science 4:408-433.
    An exposition of Pierre Duhem’s formulation of the structure of chemical substances as expressed by their formulas is given, presenting it as a development of his essentially Aristotelian view of mixtures. Duhem’s masterly development of the subject displays an eye for logical clarity familiar from his work in thermodynamics but applied here to the extraction of what he regarded as true from the history of chemistry. Though no longer defensible, the account has a conceptual interest in its own right and (...)
     
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  36.  29
    Macroscopic Processes.Paul Needham - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (2):310-331.
    Bodies as conceived in macroscopic theories are loosely spoken of as participating in processes. But are there any systematic reasons for regarding processes as part of the ontology of macroscopic theory? The present paper suggests that suitable motivation can be found within a project of describing a phenomenological, macroscopic ontology for equilibrium thermodynamics, and outlines some aspects of the interrelation between continuant bodies and processes.
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  37. Reduction and Abduction in Chemistry‐a Response to Scerri.Paul Needham - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):169 – 184.
    Eric Scerri has proposed an account of how reduction might be understood in chemistry. He claims to build on a general aspect of Popper's views which survives his otherwise heavy criticism, namely adherence to actual scientific practice. This is contrasted with Nagel's conception, which Scerri takes to be the philosopher's standard notion. I argue that his proposal, interesting though it is, is not so foreign to ideas in the tradition within which Nagel wrote as Scerri would have us believe. Moreover, (...)
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  38. Compounds and Mixtures.Paul Needham - 2012 - In Hend Hend, Paul Needham & Andrea Woody (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Vol 6: Philosophy of Chemistry. Amsterdam, Nederländerna: pp. 271-290.
  39.  34
    An Aristotelian Theory of Chemical Substance.Paul Needham - 2009 - Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 12:149-164.
    This paper traces the principal thematic developments in Aristotle’s conception of chemical substance as they bear on the evolution of the notion into modern times. A line of speculation is indicated about the interpretation of elemental proportions clearly raised by Aristotle’s discussion but not pursued in his extant writings. Apart from its historical interest, Aristotle’s discussion of substance and mixture has been taken up in contemporary systematic philosophy (Fine 1995), where it is treated as at best only relevant to ordinary, (...)
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  40.  47
    The Speaker's Point of View.Paul Needham - 1976 - Synthese 32 (3-4):309 - 327.
    The various conclusions reached in this paper can be drawn together and briefly summarised in the following thesis: It is necessary to use variables ranging over times explicitly in the object language in the logical analysis of temporal reference in English. A discussion of Arthur Prior ideas, which are in direct opposition to those encompassed here, focuses on the principle that the point of view of the speaker dominates all subordinate clauses, which I maintain and Prior rejects. This leads me (...)
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  41.  43
    Continuants and Processes in Macroscopic Chemistry.Paul Needham - 2004 - Axiomathes 14 (1-3):237-265.
    Chemistry deals with substances and their transformations. School chemistry provides a picture of this in terms of small balls called atoms and ball-and-stick structures called molecules which, despite its crudity, has been taken to justifiably reflect a reductionist conception of macroscopic concepts like the chemical substances and chemical reactions. But with the recent interest in chemistry within the philosophy of science, an extensive and determined criticism has developed of the idea that the macroscopic world has been, or is likely to (...)
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  42.  4
    Duhem's Moderate Realism.Paul Needham - 2011 - Metascience 20 (1):7-12.
    Contribution to a symposium: New Perspectives on Pierre Duhem’s Aim and structure of physical theory.
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  43.  34
    Causation: Relation or Connective?Paul Needham - 1988 - Dialectica 42 (3):201-220.
    SummaryDavidson's account of singular causal statements as expressing relations between events together with his views on event identity lead to inferences involving causal statements which many of his critics find counterintuitive. These are sometimes said to be avoided on Kim's view of events, in terms of which this line of criticism is often formulated. It is argued that neither Davidson nor Kim offer a satisfactory account of events — an essential prerequisit for the relational theory — and an account of (...)
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  44.  23
    Nineteenth-Century Chemical Theory: Correction of a Misunderstanding.Paul Needham - 2014 - Foundations of Chemistry 16 (2):165-167.
    I reply in this short note to some criticisms that Alan Rocke has recently made in this journal.
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  45. Commentary on the Principles of Thermodynamics by Pierre Duhem.Paul Needham (ed.) - 2011 - Dordrecht, Nederländerna: Springer.
     
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  46.  54
    Stuff.Paul Needham - 1993 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 71 (3):270-290.
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  47.  37
    Determining Sameness of Substance.Paul Needham - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (4):953-979.
    ABSTRACT The idea that the extension of a chemical substance is fixed by determining what stands in the relation of being the same substance to a paradigm sample plays a substantial role in chemistry, and procedures of identification that don’t make direct use of the method can be traced back to ones that do. But paradigm samples are not typically selected by ostension, as in Putnam’s version of this procedure. The relevance of ostension is questioned after a discussion of the (...)
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  48. Gregg’s Paradox and Cladistic Taxonomy.Paul Needham - 1986 - In Paul Needham & Jan Odelstad (eds.), Changing Positions: Essays Dedicated to Lars Lindahl. Uppsala, Sverige: pp. 151-166.
     
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  49.  37
    Atomic Notation and Atomistic Hypotheses Translated by Paul Needham.Paul Needham - 2000 - Foundations of Chemistry 2 (2):127-180.
    This article was first published as “Notation atomique et hypothèses atomistiques”, Revue des questions scientifiques, 31 (1892), 391– 457. It is the second of a series of articles Duhem was to publish in the Catholic journal Revue des questions scientifiques, in which he presents his understanding of what can justifiably be said about the structure of chemical substances as captured by chemical formulas. The argument unfolds following a broadly historical development of events throughout the course of the century which was (...)
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  50.  52
    Critical Notice: Times, Worlds and Selves.Paul Needham - 1979 - Synthese 40 (2):389-408.
    Review of A. N. Prior and Kit Fine, Times, Worlds and Seh,es, Duckworth London, 1977.
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