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  1. Getting to Know the World Scientifically: An Objective View.Paul Needham - 2020 - Cham, Schweiz: Springer.
    This undergraduate textbook introduces some fundamental issues in philosophy of science for students of philosophy and science students. The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 deals with knowledge and values. Chap. 1 presents the classical conception of knowledge as initiated by the ancient Greeks and elaborated during the development of science, introducing the central concepts of truth, belief and justification. Aspects of the quest for objectivity are taken up in the following two chapters. Moral issues are broached in (...)
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  • The Mereology of Thermodynamic Equilibrium.Michael te Vrugt - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12891-12921.
    The special composition question, which asks under which conditions objects compose a further object, establishes a central debate in modern metaphysics. Recent successes of inductive metaphysics, which studies the implications of the natural sciences for metaphysical problems, suggest that insights into the SCQ can be gained by investigating the physics of composite systems. In this work, I show that the minus first law of thermodynamics, which is concerned with the approach to equilibrium, leads to a new approach to the SCQ, (...)
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  • Entropy and Chemical Substance.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):921-932.
    In this essay I critically examine the role of entropy of mixing in articulating a macroscopic criterion for the sameness and difference of chemical substances. Consider three cases of mixing in which entropy change occurs: isotopic variants, spin isomers, and populations of atoms in different orthogonal quantum states. Using these cases I argue that entropy of mixing tracks differences between physical states, differences that may or may not correspond to a difference of substance. It does not provide a criterion for (...)
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  • Mixtures and Mass Terms.David Nicolas - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    In this article, I show that the semantics one adopts for mass terms constrains the metaphysical claims one can make about mixtures. I first expose why mixtures challenge a singularist approach based on mereological sums. After discussing an alternative, non-singularist approach based on plural logic, I take chemistry into account and explain how it changes our perspective on these issues.
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  • Matter, Structure, and Change: Aspects of the Philosophy of Chemistry.Michael Weisberg & Paul Needham - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (10):927-937.
    This article is an overview of some of the contemporary debates in philosophy of chemistry. We discuss the nature of chemical substances, the individuation of chemical kinds, the relationship between chemistry and physics, and the nature of the chemical bond.
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  • From Corpuscles to Elements: Chemical Ontologies From Van Helmont to Lavoisier.Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino - 2014 - In Lee McIntyre & Eric Scerri (eds.), Philosophy of Chemistry: Growth of a New Discipline. Springer. pp. 141-154.
  • About Continuity and Rupture in the History of Chemistry: The Fourth Chemical Revolution.José A. Chamizo - 2019 - Foundations of Chemistry 21 (1):11-29.
    A layered interpretation of the history of chemistry is discussed through chemical revolutions. A chemical revolution mainly by emplacement, instead of replacement, procedures were identified by: a radical reinterpretation of existing thought recognized by contemporaries themselves, which means the appearance of new concepts and the arrival of new theories; the use of new instruments changed the way in which its practitioners looked and worked in the world and through exemplars, new entities were discovered or incorporated; the opening of new subdisciplines, (...)
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  • Process and Change: From a Thermodynamic Perspective.Paul Needham - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (2):395-422.
    The creators of equilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics developed a conception of processes which bears on metaphysical discussions of change, occurrents, and continuants and merits the attention of contemporary analytic metaphysicians. It concerns the macroscopic domain, from which metaphysicians normally take their examples, and is unjustly ignored on the grounds that it is not ‘fundamental science’. Why this often-voiced view should disqualify just thermodynamics, and not the broad range of considerations normally raised, is a moot point. But even if there were (...)
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  • Natural Kind Essentialism Revisited.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):795-822.
    Recent work on Natural Kind Essentialism has taken a deflationary turn. The assumptions about the grounds of essentialist truths concerning natural kinds familiar from the Kripke-Putnam framework are now considered questionable. The source of the problem, however, has not been sufficiently explicated. The paper focuses on the Twin Earth scenario, and it will be demonstrated that the essentialist principle at its core (which I call IDENT)—that necessarily, a sample of a chemical substance, A, is of the same kind as another (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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