This comprehensive volume marks a new standard in scholarship in the still emerging field of the philosophy of chemistry. With selections drawn from a wide range of scholarly disciplines, philosophers, chemists, and historians of science here converge to ask some of the most fundamental questions about the relationship between philosophy and chemistry. What can chemistry teach us about longstanding disputes in the philosophy of science over such issues as reductionism, autonomy, and supervenience? And what new issues may chemistry bring to the forefront now that it has joined physics and biology as a serious topic for philosophical reflection? This newest addition to the prestigious Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science series marks the true arrival of philosophy of chemistry within the corpus of the philosophy of science.
Section 1. Chemistry and the Philosophy of Chemistry.- 1. Davis Baird, Lee McIntyre, Eric Scerri, By Way of an Introduction: The Overwhelming Invisibility of Chemistry.- 2. Joachim Schummer, The Philosophy of Chemistry: From Infancy Toward Maturity.-
Section 2. Chemistry and the History and Philosophy of Science.- 3. Paul Needham, Aristotle's Theory of Chemical Reaction and Chemical Substances.- 4. Jaap van Brakel, Kant's Legacy for the Philosophy of Chemistry.-
Section 3. Chemistry and Current Philosophy of Science.- 5. Otto Ted Benfey, The Conceptual Structure of the Sciences: Reemergence of the Human Dimension.- 6. Eric Scerri, Normative and Descriptive Philosophy of Science and the Role of Chemistry.- 7. Johannes Hunger, How Classical Models of Explanation Fail to Cope with Chemistry The Case of Molecular Modeling.- 8. Jeffrey Kovac, Professional Ethics in Science.-
Section 4. Chemistry and Physics.- 9. Robin Hendry, Is There Downward Causation in Chemistry?.- 10. G.K. Vemulapalli, Physics in the Crucible of Chemistry.-
Section 5. Chemical Theory and Foundational Questions.- 11. Joseph Early, Some Philosophical Implications of Chemical Symmetry.- 12. Ray Hefferlin, The Periodic Systems of Molecules: Presuppositions, Problems and Prospects.- 13. Jack Woodyard, A New Paradigm for Schrödinger and Kohn.-
Section 6. Chemistry and its Tools of Representation.- 14. Ann Johnson, Virtual Tools: The Epistemological and Social Issues Computer-Aided Chemical Process Design.- 15. Sara Vollmer, Space in Molecular Representations; Or How Pictures Represent Objects.- 16. Daniel Rothbart and John Schreifels, Visualizing Instrumental Techniques of Surface Chemistry.-
Section 7. Chemistry and Ontology.- 17. Nalini Bhushan, Are Chemical Kinds Natural Kinds?.- 18. Michael Weisberg, Water is Not H2O.- 19. Alfred Nordmann, From Metaphysics to Metachemistry.
From the reviews:
"This seems to indicate that the philosophy of chemistry is still in the process of synthesis, rather than a stable product of disciplinary consensus. ... There is material here of interest not just to philosophers, but also those with interests in history and philosophy of science and indeed the study of science and technology more broadly. ... for those who are curious, this volume would be a very good place to start seeking illumination." (Grant Fisher, Metascience, Vol. 16, 2007)
"Chapters in this book ... discuss chemistry's historical development; its relations to other sciences; its approaches to explanation, representation, classification, and measurement; and the ways in which issues in chemistry connect with, and shed light upon, larger philosophical questions about how sciences help us make sense of the world we live in. ... the philosophical questions, and their clear, careful, and engaging presentation in this book, will be of genuine interest to chemists ... . the essays in this volume will be a welcome resource." (Janet D. Stemwedel, Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 83 (8), August, 2006)
"This collection of 19 papers is the result of a conference organized by the International Society for the Philosophy of Chemistry (ISPC) held in 1999. It ... will be read as, a landmark in the history of the philosophy of science. ... This volume testifies that ... chemistry has a philosophy of its own." (Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Nuncius, Vol. XXI (2), 2006)
This comprehensive volume marks a new standard in scholarship in the emerging field of the philosophy of chemistry. Philosophers, chemists, and historians of science ask some fundamental questions about the relationship between philosophy and chemistry.
First comprehensive scholarly volume (not a textbook) devoted to philosophy of chemistry
First volume within the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science series on philosophy of chemistry
Collection of the best and most recent scholarly work in the field, not found in scholarly journals