Philosophy of Chemistry, Volume 6

1st Edition

Print ISBN: 9780444516756
eBook ISBN: 9780080930763
Imprint: North Holland
Published Date: 1st November 2011
Page Count: 575
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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. Ch


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"Excellent and interesting book for a chemistry teacher or for someone interested in the history and philosophy of chemistry…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.", May 2013