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930 found
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  1. Identical or Distinct? The Paneth–Fajans Debate on the Nature of Isotopes.Pieter Thyssen - manuscript
  2. What Can the Discovery of Boron Tell Us About the Scientific Realism Debate?Jonathon Hricko - forthcoming - In Timothy D. Lyons & Peter Vickers (eds.), Contemporary Scientific Realism: The Challenge from the History of Science. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter examines the work in chemistry that led to the discovery of boron and explores the implications of this episode for the scientific realism debate. This episode begins with Lavoisier’s oxygen theory of acidity and his prediction that boracic acid contains oxygen and a hypothetical, combustible substance that he called the boracic radical. And it culminates in the work of Davy, Gay-Lussac, and Thénard, who used potassium to extract oxygen from boracic acid and thereby discovered boron. This episode constitutes (...)
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  3. Ordonnancement de la production. Lavoisier.P. Lopez & F. Roubelat - forthcoming - Hermes.
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  4. Chemistry without Atoms.Klaus Ruthenberg & Pieter Thyssen (eds.) - forthcoming - Würzburg: Königshausen and Neumann.
  5. Mendeleev’s Periodic Law and the 19th Century Debates on Atomism.Pieter Thyssen - forthcoming - In Klaus Ruthenberg & Pieter Thyssen (eds.), Chemistry without Atoms. Würzburg, Germany: Königshausen and Neumann.
    The heated debates and severe conflicts between the atomists and the anti-atomists of the latter half of the nineteenth century are well known to the historian of science. The position of Dmitrii Ivanovich Mendeleev towards these nineteenth century debates on atomism will be studied in this paper. A first attempt will thus be offered to reconcile Mendeleev’s seemingly contradictory comments and ambiguous standpoints into one coherent view.
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  6. Women in Early Modern Science: Du Châtelet and the Bologna Academy.Aaron Wells - forthcoming - In Marius Stan (ed.), The History and Philosophy of Science, 1450 to 1750. Bloomsbury.
  7. Co-authorship in chemistry at the turn of the twentieth century: the case of Theodore W. Richards.K. Brad Wray - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-14.
    It is widely recognized that conceptual and theoretical innovations and the employment of new instruments and experimental techniques are important factors in explaining the growth of scientific knowledge in chemistry. This study examines another dimension of research in chemistry, collaboration and co-authorship. I focus specifically on Theodore Richards’ career and publications. During the period in which Richards worked, co-authorship was beginning to become more common than it had been previously. Richards was the first American chemist to be awarded a Nobel (...)
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  8. From the Atom to Living Systems: A Chemical and Philosophical Journey Into Modern and Contemporary Science.Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino & Giovanni Villani - 2023 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    This book represents an original journey beginning from the simple and undifferentiated atom, to differentiated atoms, to molecules, to macromolecules, and to the thresholds of life. One of the most important aims of this book is to underline the philosophical function of the concept of molecule. The description of the material world permitted by the concept of structured entity has revolutionized the entire scientific worldview. Moreover, the concept of macromolecule has projected the molecular world towards the threshold of the biological (...)
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  9. “Conducted Properly, Published Incorrectly”: The Evolving Status of Gel Electrophoresis Images Along Instrumental Transformations in Times of Reproducibility Crisis.Nephtali Callaerts, Alexandre Hocquet & Frédéric Wieber - 2023 - Berichte Zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 46 (2-3):233-258.
    For the last ten years, within molecular life sciences, the reproducibility crisis discourse has been embodied as a crisis of trust in scientific images. Beyond the contentious perception of “questionable research practices” associated with a digital turn in the production of images, this paper highlights the transformations of gel electrophoresis as a family of experimental techniques. Our aim is to analyze the evolving epistemic status of generated images and its connection with a crisis of trust in images within that field.From (...)
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  10. Atomic number and isotopy before nuclear structure: multiple standards and evolving collaboration of chemistry and physics.Jordi Cat & Nicholas W. Best - 2023 - Foundations of Chemistry 25 (1):67-99.
    We provide a detailed history of the concepts of atomic number and isotopy before the discovery of protons and neutrons that draws attention to the role of evolving interplays of multiple aims and criteria in chemical and physical research. Focusing on research by Frederick Soddy and Ernest Rutherford, we show that, in the context of differentiating disciplinary projects, the adoption of a complex and shifting concept of elemental identity and the ordering role of the periodic table led to a relatively (...)
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  11. What Is A Chemical Element? A Collection of Essays by Chemists, Philosophers, Historians, and Educators. Edited by Eric Scerri and Elena Ghibaudi. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2020, 312 pp. ISBN: 9780190933784, £65.00. [REVIEW]Pieter Thyssen - 2023 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science (3-4):1-4.
    Compared to its sister disciplines—philosophy of physics and philosophy of biology—philosophy of chemistry remains a relatively young field of philosophical endeavour. Having originated in the late...
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  12. What Is a Photographic Register?Dawn M. Wilson - 2023 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 81 (3):408-413.
    This Discussion Piece is a response to Mark Windsor's Discussion Piece (2023) 'Photographic Registers are Latent Images', which is a response to my article, (2021) 'Invisible Images and Indeterminacy: Why we need a Multi-stage Account of Photography' JAAC 79(2) 161-174.. -/- I argue that a photosensitive surface does not produce invisible pictorial features when it is exposed to light, and conclude, contra Windsor, that a photographic register is not a latent image. I argue that Windsor does not succeed in defending (...)
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  13. Joachim Schummer; Tom Børsen (Editors). Ethics of Chemistry: From Poison Gas to Climate Engineering. 568 pp., indexes. Hackensack, N.J.: World Scientific, 2021. $198 (cloth); ISBN 9789811233531. E-book available. [REVIEW]Howard G. Barth - 2022 - Isis 113 (1):207-208.
  14. Has the problem (or puzzle) of the element concept been solved?: Eric Scerri and Elena Ghibaudi (eds): What is a chemical element? A collection of essays by chemists, philosophers, historians, and educators. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020, 296 pp, £65 HB. [REVIEW]Nicholas W. Best - 2022 - Metascience 31 (2):255-259.
  15. Essence, Experiment, and Underdetermination in the Spinoza-Boyle Correspondence.Stephen Harrop - 2022 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 12 (2):447-484.
    I examine the (mediated) correspondence between Spinoza and Robert Boyle concerning the latter’s account of fluidity and his experiments on reconstitution of niter in the light of the epistemology and doctrine of method contained in the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect. I argue that both the Treatise and the correspondence reveal that for Spinoza, the proper method of science is not experimental, and that he accepted a powerful under-determination thesis. I argue that, in contrast to modern versions, Spinoza’s (...)
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  16. Newton’s Secrets Revealed. [REVIEW]Elisabeth Moreau - 2022 - Metascience 31 (1):5-10.
  17. Jennifer M. Rampling The Experimental Fire: Inventing English Alchemy, 1300–1700. (Synthesis.) 416 pp., 19 halftones, 2 tables. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2020. $35 (cloth); ISBN 9780226710709. E-book available. [REVIEW]Megan Piorko - 2022 - Isis 113 (1):178-179.
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  18. Lawrence M. Principe. The Transmutations of Chymistry: Wilhelm Homberg and the Academie Royal des Sciences. 504 pp., halftones, drawings. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2020. $45 (cloth); ISBN 9780226700786. E-book available. [REVIEW]Anna Marie Roos - 2022 - Isis 113 (1):185-186.
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  19. New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress.Yafeng Shan (ed.) - 2022 - New York: Routledge.
    This collection of original essays offers a comprehensive examination of scientific progress, which has been a central topic in recent debates in philosophy of science. Traditionally, debates over scientific progress have focused on different methodological approaches, notably the epistemic and semantic approaches. The chapters in Part I of the book examine these two traditional approaches, as well as the newly revived functional and newly developed noetic approaches. Part II features in-depth case studies of scientific progress from the history of science. (...)
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  20. Theodore Richards and the discovery of isotopes.K. Brad Wray - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 25 (1):57-66.
    I challenge Gareth Eaton’s recent claim that Theodore Richards should be counted among the discoverers of isotopes. In evaluating Eaton’s claim, I draw on two influential theories of scientific discovery, one developed by Thomas Kuhn, and one developed by Augustine Brannigan. I argue that though Richards’ experimental work contributed to the discovery, his work does not warrant attributing the discovery to him. Richards’ reluctance to acknowledge isotopes is well documented. Further, the fact that he made no claim to having made (...)
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  21. What happened when chemists came to classify elements by their atomic number?K. Brad Wray - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 24 (2):161-170.
    I respond to Scerri’s recent reply to my claim that there was a scientific revolution in chemistry in the early twentieth Century. I grant, as Scerri insists, that there are significant continuities through the change about which we are arguing. That is so in all scientific revolutions. But I argue that the changes were such that they constitute a Kuhnian revolution, not in the classic sense of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, but in the sense of Kuhn’s mature theory, developed (...)
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  22. Alison M Roberts. Hathor’s Alchemy: The Ancient Egyptian Roots of the Hermetic Art. 336 pp., notes, bibl., index. East Sussex: Northgate Publishers, 2019. £27.50 (paper); ISBN 9780952423331. [REVIEW]Marco Beretta - 2021 - Isis 112 (1):181-181.
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  23. Gaining traction: Foothold concepts and exemplars in conceptual change.William Goodwin - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90 (C):145-152.
    This paper investigates the emergence of conformational analysis in organic chemistry as a case of conceptual change in science. In this case, the mechanism of conceptual change is identified as the emergence of a new exemplar. This new exemplar was made possible because of the identification of a distinctive chemical structure to which ‘foothold’ concepts were applicable. These concepts facilitated both clear explanation in the particular case, and the analogical extension of the conceptual innovation throughout the discipline. The case suggests (...)
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  24. Epistemic issues in computational reproducibility: software as the elephant in the room.Alexandre Hocquet & Frédéric Wieber - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-20.
    Computational reproducibility possesses its own dynamics and narratives of crisis. Alongside the difficulties of computing as an ubiquitous yet complex scientific activity, computational reproducibility suffers from a naive expectancy of total reproducibility and a moral imperative to embrace the principles of free software as a non-negotiable epistemic virtue. We argue that the epistemic issues at stake in actual practices of computational reproducibility are best unveiled by focusing on software as a pivotal concept, one that is surprisingly often overlooked in accounts (...)
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  25. Glen E. Rodgers. Traveling with the Atom: A Scientific Guide to Europe and Beyond. 551 pp., app., indexes. Croydon: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019. £29.99 (paper); ISBN 9781788015288. E-book available. [REVIEW]Alan Rocke - 2021 - Isis 112 (1):175-176.
  26. A big picture perspective on the philosophy of chemistry: Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent and Richard-Emmanuel Eastes (Eds.): Philosophie de la chimie. Deboeck supérieur, 2020, 368 pp, 39€. [REVIEW]Quentin Ruyant - 2021 - Metascience 30 (2):293-296.
    Chemistry is at the crossroads of many issues in philosophy of science. It entertains intimate relations with both physics and biology; it incorporates strong theoretical elements mixed with sophisticated experimental practices; it is linked with industry, medicine and agriculture, which makes the discipline central for many societal issues. Yet surprisingly, despite a recent resurgence of interest, the field has not received as much attention from philosophers as other disciplines such as physics and biology. Philosophie de la chimie purports to fill (...)
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  27. Small Bohr: John L. Heilbron: Niels Bohr: a very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020, xxii+132 pp, £8.99 PB. [REVIEW]K. Brad Wray - 2021 - Metascience 31 (1):27-28.
    This is a book review of John Heilbron's book _Niels Bohr: a very short introduction_.
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  28. Ernst Homburg; Elisabeth Vaupel (Editors). Hazardous Chemicals: Agents of Risk and Change, 1800–2000. (Environment in History: International Perspectives, 17.) xiv + 407 pp., index. New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2019. $105 (cloth). E-book available. [REVIEW]David Arnold - 2020 - Isis 111 (3):651-652.
  29. The Chemical Philosophy of Robert Boyle: Mechanicism, Chymical Atoms, and Emergence.Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino - 2020 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    This book examines the way in which Robert Boyle seeks to accommodate his complex chemical philosophy within the framework of a mechanistic theory of matter. More specifically, the book proposes that Boyle regards chemical qualities as properties that emerged from the mechanistic structure of chymical atoms. Within Boyle’s chemical ontology, chymical atoms are structured concretions of particles that Boyle regards as chemically elementary entities, that is, as chemical wholes that resist experimental analysis. Although this interpretation of Boyle’s chemical philosophy has (...)
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  30. Reflections on the Reception of Jean Perrin’s Experiments by His Contemporaries.Milena Ivanova - 2020 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (1):219-224.
  31. From Food to Elements and Humors: Digestion in Late Renaissance Galenism.Elisabeth Moreau - 2020 - In Giouli Korobili & Roberto Lo Presti (eds.), Nutrition and Nutritive Soul in Aristotle and Aristotelianism. De Gruyter. pp. 319-338.
    In late Renaissance medicine, the example of digestion was frequently invoked to prove the elemental composition of the human body. Food was considered as being decomposed in its first elements by the stomach, and digested into a thick juice, which was assimilated by the liver and the body parts. Such a process points to the structure of the human body into four elements that are transformed into different types of humors during several stages of “concoction”. This chapter examines the Galenic (...)
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  32. Problem of the Direct Quantum-Information Transformation of Chemical Substance.Vasil Penchev - 2020 - Computational and Theoretical Chemistry eJournal (Elsevier: SSRN) 3 (26):1-15.
    Arthur Clark and Michael Kube–McDowell (“The Triger”, 2000) suggested the sci-fi idea about the direct transformation from a chemical substance to another by the action of a newly physical, “Trigger” field. Karl Brohier, a Nobel Prize winner, who is a dramatic persona in the novel, elaborates a new theory, re-reading and re-writing Pauling’s “The Nature of the Chemical Bond”; according to Brohier: “Information organizes and differentiates energy. It regularizes and stabilizes matter. Information propagates through matter-energy and mediates the interactions of (...)
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  33. The History of Chemistry in Chemical Education.John C. Powers - 2020 - Isis 111 (3):576-581.
  34. John F. Marra. Hot Carbon: Carbon-14 and a Revolution in Science. xii + 264 pp., bibl., index. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019. $35 (cloth); ISBN 9780231186704. E-book available. [REVIEW]Seth C. Rasmussen - 2020 - Isis 111 (4):900-901.
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  35. E. Nicolaidis (Editor). Greek Alchemy from Late Antiquity to Early Modernity. (De Diversis Artibus, 104 [N.S., 67].) 197 pp., figs., notes, index. Turnhout: Brepols, 2018. €80 (cloth). [REVIEW]Curtis Runstedler - 2020 - Isis 111 (3):659-660.
  36. Models, Parameterization, and Software: Epistemic Opacity in Computational Chemistry.Frédéric Wieber & Alexandre Hocquet - 2020 - Perspectives on Science 28 (5):610-629.
    . Computational chemistry grew in a new era of “desktop modeling,” which coincided with a growing demand for modeling software, especially from the pharmaceutical industry. Parameterization of models in computational chemistry is an arduous enterprise, and we argue that this activity leads, in this specific context, to tensions among scientists regarding the epistemic opacity transparency of parameterized methods and the software implementing them. We relate one flame war from the Computational Chemistry mailing List in order to assess in detail the (...)
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  37. Brightening Biochemistry: Humor, Identity, and Scientific Work at the Sir William Dunn Institute of Biochemistry, 1923–1931.Robin Wolfe Scheffler - 2020 - Isis 111 (3):493-514.
    In the 1920s, scientists at the University of Cambridge’s Sir William Dunn Institute of Biochemistry made major contributions to the emerging discipline of biochemistry while also devoting considerable time and energy to the production of a humor journal entitled Brighter Biochemistry. Although humor is frequently regarded as peripheral to the work of science, the journal provides an opportunity to understand how it contributes to the social infrastructure of scientific communities as modern workplaces. Taking methodological cues from cultural history, ethnography, and (...)
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  38. The function of microstructure in Boyle’s chemical philosophy: ‘chymical atoms' and structural explanation.Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino - 2019 - Foundations of Chemistry 21 (1):51-59.
    One of several important issues that inform contemporary philosophy of chemistry is the issue of structural explanation, precisely because modern chemistry is primarily concerned with microstructure. This paper argues that concern over microstructure, albeit understood differently than it is today, also informs the chemical philosophy of Robert Boyle. According to Boyle, the specific microstructure of ‘chymical atoms’, understood in geometric terms, accounts for the unique essential properties of different chemical substances. Because he considers the microstructure of ‘chymical atoms’ as semi-permanent, (...)
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  39. Pere Grapí, Inspiring Air: A History of Air-Related Science. Wilmington: Vernon Press, 2019. Pp. ix + 352. ISBN 1-62273-738-5. £44.00. [REVIEW]Nicholas Danne - 2019 - British Journal for the History of Science 52 (4):717-719.
  40. Alkaest. Vizi e virtù di un dissolvente universale.Marco Ghione - 2019 - la Rosa di Paracelso 2 (2):13-29.
    Relying on the double meaning of Alkaest on the texts of the first paracelsians, in a first sense the universal dissolvent of the alchemic Work, in a second a wonderful epatic medicine, the paper outlines history and spread of this alchemical substance, from the late XVI century to the early XVIII. With the growing dissemination of Franciscus Van Helmont and his followers writings, the Alkaest as universal solvent earns credibility, touching his peak probably in England, where arouses the strong interest (...)
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  41. The Artificial Cell, the Semipermeable Membrane, and the Life that Never Was, 1864–1901.Daniel Liu - 2019 - Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 49 (5):504-555.
    Since the early nineteenth century a membrane or wall has been central to the cell’s identity as the elementary unit of life. Yet the literally and metaphorically marginal status of the cell membrane made it the site of clashes over the definition of life and the proper way to study it. In this article I show how the modern cell membrane was conceived of by analogy to the first “artificial cell,” invented in 1864 by the chemist Moritz Traube (1826–1894), and (...)
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  42. The Periodic Table and its Iconicity: an Essay.Juergen H. Maar & Alexander Maar - 2019 - Substantia 3 (2):29-48.
    In this essay, we aim to provide an overview of the periodic table’s origins and history, and of the elements which conspired to make it chemistry’s most recognisable icon. We pay attention to Mendeleev’s role in the development of a system for organising the elements and chemical knowledge while facilitating the teaching of chemistry. We look at how the reception of the table in different chemical communities was dependent on the local scientific, cultural and political context, but argue that its (...)
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  43. The rise of cryptographic metaphors in Boyle and their use for the mechanical philosophy.Dana Matthiessen - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 73:8-21.
    This paper tracks the development of Boyle’s conception of the natural world in terms of the popular “book of nature” trope. Boyle initially spoke of the creatures and phenomena of nature in a spiritual and moral register, as emblems of divine purpose, but gradually shifted from this ideographic view to an alphabetical account, which at times became posed in explicitly cryptographic terms. I explain this transition toward cryptographic metaphors in terms of Boyle’s social and intellectual milieu and their concordance with (...)
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  44. The Instrument of Science: Scientific Anti-Realism Revitalised.Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2019 - New York: Routledge.
    Roughly, instrumentalism is the view that science is primarily, and should primarily be, an instrument for furthering our practical ends. It has fallen out of favour because historically influential variants of the view, such as logical positivism, suffered from serious defects. -/- In this book, however, Darrell P. Rowbottom develops a new form of instrumentalism, which is more sophisticated and resilient than its predecessors. This position—‘cognitive instrumentalism’—involves three core theses. First, science makes theoretical progress primarily when it furnishes us with (...)
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  45. Kuhn, the History of Chemistry, and the Philosophy of Science.K. Brad Wray - 2019 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 9 (1):75-92.
    I draw attention to one of the most important sources of Kuhn’s ideas in Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Contrary to the popular trend of focusing on external factors in explaining Kuhn’s views, factors related to his social milieu or personal experiences, I focus on the influence of the books and articles he was reading and thinking about in the history of science, specifically, sources in the history of chemistry. I argue that there is good reason to think that the history (...)
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  46. Reporting the discovery of new chemical elements: working in different worlds, only 25 years apart.K. Brad Wray & Line Edslev Andersen - 2019 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):137-146.
    In his account of scientific revolutions, Thomas Kuhn suggests that after a revolutionary change of theory, it is as if scientists are working in a different world. In this paper, we aim to show that the notion of world change is insightful. We contrast the reporting of the discovery of neon in 1898 with the discovery of hafnium in 1923. The one discovery was made when elements were identified by their atomic weight; the other discovery was made after scientists came (...)
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  47. Mechanistic trends in chemistry.Louis Caruana - 2018 - Substantia 2 (1):29-40.
    During the twentieth century, the mechanistic worldview came under attack mainly because of the rise of quantum mechanics but some of its basic characteristics survived and are still evident within current science in some form or other. Many scholars have produced interesting studies of such significant mechanistic trends within current physics and biology but very few have bothered to explore the effects of this worldview on current chemistry. This paper makes a contribution to fill this gap. It presents first a (...)
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  48. Heads and Tails: Molecular Imagination and the Lipid Bilayer, 1917–1941.Daniel Liu - 2018 - In Karl Matlin, Jane Maienschein & Manfred Laubichler (eds.), Visions of Cell Biology: Reflections Inspired by Cowdry's General Cytology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 209-245.
    Today, the lipid bilayer structure is nearly ubiquitous, taken for granted in even the most rudimentary introductions to cell biology. Yet the image of the lipid bilayer, built out of lipids with heads and tails, went from having obscure origins deep in colloid chemical theory in 1924 to being “obvious to any competent physical chemist” by 1935. This chapter examines how this schematic, strictly heuristic explanation of the idea of molecular orientation was developed within colloid physical chemistry, and how the (...)
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  49. Chemical Dissolution and Kant’s Critical Theory of Nature.Michael Bennett McNulty - 2018 - Kant Studien 109 (4):537-556.
    Kant conceives of chemical dissolutions as involving the infinite division and subsequent blending of solvent and solute. In the resulting continuous solution, every subvolume contains a uniform proportion of each reactant. Erich Adickes argues that this account stands in tension with other aspects of Kant’s Critical philosophy and his views on infinity. I argue that although careful analysis of Kant’s conception of dissolution addresses Adickes’ objections, the infinite division inherent to the process is beyond our human cognition, for Kant. Nevertheless, (...)
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  50. What to make of Mendeleev’s predictions?K. Brad Wray - 2018 - Foundations of Chemistry 21 (2):139-143.
    I critically examine Stewart’s suggestion that we should weigh the various predictions Mendeleev made differently. I argue that in his effort to justify discounting the weight of some of Mendeleev’s failures, Stewart invokes a principle that will, in turn, reduce the weight of some of the successful predictions Mendeleev made. So Stewart’s strategy will not necessarily lead to a net gain in Mendeleev’s favor.
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