Philosophy of Chemistry

Philosophy of Chemistry

1st Edition - November 1, 2011

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  • Editors: Dov M. Gabbay, Paul Thagard, John Woods
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080930763

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Philosophy of Chemistry investigates the foundational concepts and methods of chemistry, the science of the nature of substances and their transformations. This groundbreaking collection, the most thorough treatment of the philosophy of chemistry ever published, brings together philosophers, scientists and historians to map out the central topics in the field. The 33 articles address the history of the philosophy of chemistry and the philosophical importance of some central figures in the history of chemistry; the nature of chemical substances; central chemical concepts and methods, including the chemical bond, the periodic table and reaction mechanisms; and chemistry’s relationship to other disciplines such as physics, molecular biology, pharmacy and chemical engineering. This volume serves as a detailed introduction for those new to the field as well as a rich source of new insights and potential research agendas for those already engaged with the philosophy of chemistry.

Key Features

  • Provides a bridge between philosophy and current scientific findings
  • Encourages multi-disciplinary dialogue
  • Covers theory and applications


Researchers, graduate students and senior undergraduates in all branches of the philosophy of science, as well as chemists and their students who are interested in methodological issues that arise in their discipline

Table of Contents

  • General Preface
    Dov Gabbay, Paul Thagard, and John Woods
    List of Contributors
    Part 1. Introduction
    Introduction,by Robin Findlay Hendry, Paul Needham and Andrea I.
    Part 2. History of the Philosophy of Chemistry
    Prehistory of the Philosophy of Chemistry, by Jaap van Brakel
    Robert Boyle (1627–1691), by Alan Chalmers
    Joseph Priestley (1733–1804), by Hasok Chang
    Antoine Lavoisier (1743–1794), by Robin Findlay Hendry
    John Dalton (1766–1844), by David Knight
    Dmitrii Ivanovich Mendeleev (1834–1907), by Michael D. Gordin
    Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839–1903), by Robert J. Deltete
    Friedrich Wilhelm Ostwald (1853-1932), by Robert J. Deltete
    Pierre Duhem (1861–1916), by Paul Needham
    Frantiˇsek Wald (1861–1930), by Klaus Ruthenberg
    G. N. Lewis (1875–1946), by Paul A. Bogaard
    Gaston Bachelard (1884–1962), by Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent
    Linus Pauling (1901–1994), by Robin Findlay Hendry
    Charles Coulson (1910–1974), by Robin Findlay Hendry
    Ilya Prigogine (1917–2003), by Joseph Earley Sr.
    Part 3. Chemical Substances
    Ancient Theories of Chemical Substance, by Paul Bogaard
    Substances: The Ontology of Chemistry, by Jaap van Brakel
    Modality, Mereology and Substance, by Paul Needham
    Elements, by Robin Findlay Hendry
    Compounds and Mixtures, by Paul Needham
    Part 4. Chemical Concepts and Methods
    Chemical Bond, by Robin Findlay Hendry
    Mechanisms and Chemical Reaction, by Mark Goodwin
    The Periodic Table, by Eric R. Scerri
    Laws in Chemistry, by Rom Harré
    Chemical Modeling, by Michael Weisberg
    Part 5. Chemistry and Physics
    Reduction, Emergence and Physicalism, by Robin Findlay Hendry
    Atoms and Molecules in Classical Chemistry and Quantum Mechanics, by Brian T. Sutcliffe and R. Guy Woolley
    Concept Amalgamation and Representation in Quantum Chemistry, by Andrea I. Woody
    Thermodynamics in Chemistry, by G. Krishna Vemulapalli
    Entropy in Chemistry, by Robert J. Deltete
    Part 6. Chemistry and Other Disciplines
    Chemistry and Molecular Biology, by Michel Morange
    Chemistry and Pharmacy: A Philosophical Inquiry into an Evolving Relationship, by Jonathan Simon
    Chemical Engineering Science, by Jaap van Brakel

Product details

  • No. of pages: 575
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © North Holland 2011
  • Published: November 1, 2011
  • Imprint: North Holland
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080930763

About the Series Editors

Dov M. Gabbay

Dov M. Gabbay is Augustus De Morgan Professor Emeritus of Logic at the Group of Logic, Language and Computation, Department of Computer Science, King's College London. He has authored over four hundred and fifty research papers and over thirty research monographs. He is editor of several international Journals, and many reference works and Handbooks of Logic.

Affiliations and Expertise

Augustus De Morgan Professor Emeritus of Logic at the Group of Logic, Language and Computation, Department of Computer Science, King's College London.

Paul Thagard

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Waterloo, Canada

John Woods

Affiliations and Expertise

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

About the Series Volume Editors

Robin Hendry

Paul Needham

Andrea Woody

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