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  1.  80
    Elements, Compounds and Other Chemical Kinds.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):864--875.
    In this article I assess the problems and prospects of a microstructural approach to chemical substances. Saul Kripke and Hilary Putnam famously claimed that to be gold is to have atomic number 79 and to be water is to be H2O. I relate the first claim to the concept of element in the history of chemistry, arguing that the reference of element names is determined by atomic number. Compounds are more difficult: water is so complex and heterogeneous at the molecular (...)
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  2. Two Conceptions of the Chemical Bond.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):909-920.
    In this article I sketch G. N. Lewis’s views on chemical bonding and Linus Pauling’s attempt to preserve Lewis’s insights within a quantum‐mechanical theory of the bond. I then set out two broad conceptions of the chemical bond, the structural and the energetic views, which differ on the extent in which they preserve anything like the classical chemical bond in the modern quantum‐mechanical understanding of molecular structure. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Durham University, 50 Old (...)
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  3. Le Poidevin on the Reduction of Chemistry.Robin Findlay Hendry & Paul Needham - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):339-353.
    In this article we critically evaluate Robin Le Poidevin's recent attempt to set out an argument for the ontological reduction of chemistry independently of intertheoretic reduction. We argue, firstly, that the argument he envisages applies only to a small part of chemistry, and that there is no obvious way to extend it. We argue, secondly, that the argument cannot establish the reduction of chemistry, properly so called.
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  4.  57
    Lavoisier and Mendeleev on the Elements.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2004 - Foundations of Chemistry 7 (1):31-48.
    Lavoisier defined an element as a chemicalsubstance that cannot be decomposed usingcurrent analytical methods. Mendeleev saw anelement as a substance composed of atoms of thesame atomic weight. These `definitions' doquite different things: Lavoisier'sdistinguishes the elements from the compounds,so that the elements may form the basis of acompositional nomenclature; Mendeleev's offersa criterion of sameness and difference forelemental substances, while Lavoisier's doesnot. In this paper I explore the historical andtheoretical background to each proposal.Lavoisier's and Mendeleev's explicitconceptions of elementhood differed from eachother, and (...)
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  5. Dispositional Essentialism and the Necessity of Laws.Robin Findlay Hendry & Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2009 - Analysis 69 (4):668-677.
    We argue that the inference from dispositional essentialism about a property (in the broadest sense) to the metaphysical necessity of laws involving it is invalid. Let strict dispositional essentialism be any view according to which any given property’s dispositional character is precisely the same across all possible worlds. Clearly, any version of strict dispositional essentialism rules out worlds with different laws involving that property. Permissive dispositional essentialism is committed to a property’s identity being tied to its dispositional profile or causal (...)
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  6. The Physicists, the Chemists, and the Pragmatics of Explanation.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1048-1059.
    In this paper I investigate two views of theoretical explanation in quantum chemistry, advocated by John Clarke Slater and Charles Coulson. Slater argued for quantum‐mechanical rigor, and the primacy of fundamental principles in models of chemical bonding. Coulson emphasized systematic explanatory power within chemistry, and continuity with existing chemical explanations. I relate these views to the epistemic contexts of their disciplines.
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  7.  43
    Models and Approximations in Quantum Chemistry.Robin Findlay Hendry - 1998 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 63:123-142.
  8.  56
    Chemical Substances and the Limits of Pluralism.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2012 - Foundations of Chemistry 14 (1):55-68.
    In this paper I investigate the relationship between vernacular kind terms and specialist scientific vocabularies. Elsewhere I have developed a defence of realism about the chemical elements as natural kinds. This defence depends on identifying the epistemic interests and theoretical conception of the elements that have suffused chemistry since the mid-eighteenth century. Because of this dependence, it is a discipline-specific defence, and would seem to entail important concessions to pluralism about natural kinds. I argue that making this kind of concession (...)
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  9. Emergence Vs. Reduction in Chemistry.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2010 - In Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Macdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press.
  10.  20
    Structure as Abstraction.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):1070-1081.
    In this article I argue that structure in chemistry is a creature of abstraction: attending selectively to structural similarities, we neglect differences. There are different ways to abstract, so abstraction is interest dependent. So is structure. First, there are two different and mutually irreducible notions of structure in chemistry: bond structure and geometrical structure. Second, structure is relative to scale : the same substance has different structures at different scales, and relationships of structural sameness and difference vary across the scales. (...)
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  11.  27
    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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  12.  12
    Structure, Scale and Emergence.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:44-53.
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  13.  20
    Substantial Confusion.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (2):322-336.
    In this paper I defend, against Eric Scerri’s objections, the following theses: that Lavoisier and Mendeleev shared a ‘core conception’ of chemical element, and that this core conception underwrites referential continuity in the names of particular elements.Keywords: Antoine Lavoisier; Dmitri Mendeleev; Chemical elements; Substance; Natural kinds; Reference.
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  14.  66
    Are Realism and Instrumentalism Methodologically Indifferent?Robin Findlay Hendry - 2001 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S25-.
    Arthur Fine and André Kukla have argued that realism and instrumentalism are indifferent with respect to scientific practice. I argue that this claim is ambiguous. One interpretation is that for any practice, the fact that that practice yields predictively successful theories is evidentially indifferent between scientific realism and instrumentalism. On the second construal, the claim is that for any practice, adoption of that practice by a scientist is indifferent between their being a realist or instrumentalist. I argue that there are (...)
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  15.  20
    Are Realism and Instrumentalism Methodologically Indifferent?Robin Findlay Hendry - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (S3):S25-S37.
    Arthur Fine and André Kukla have argued that realism and instrumentalism are indifferent with respect to scientific practice. I argue that this claim is ambiguous. One interpretation is that for any practice, the fact that that practice yields predictively successful theories is evidentially indifferent between scientific realism and instrumentalism. On the second construal, the claim is that for any practice, adoption of that practice by a scientist is indifferent between their being a realist or instrumentalist. I argue that there are (...)
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  16.  1
    Elements and (First) Principles in Chemistry.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 14):3391-3411.
    The first principle of chemical composition is that elements are actually present in their compounds. It is a golden thread running through the history of compositional thinking in chemistry since before the chemical revolution. Opposed to this principle, which I call Actually Present Elements, is the idea that elements are merely potentially present in their compounds: although not actually present, it is possible to recover them. In this paper I follow that golden thread, and then discuss the status of APE (...)
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  17.  44
    Realism and Progress: Why Scientists Should Be Realists.Robin Findlay Hendry - 1995 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 38:53-72.
    For as long as realists and instrumentalists have disagreed, partisans of both sides have pointed in argument to the actions and sayings of scientists. Realists in particular have often drawn comfort from the literal understanding given even to very theoretical propositions by many of those who are paid to deploy them. The scientists' realism, according to the realist, is not an idle commitment: a literal understanding of past and present theories and concepts underwrites their employment in the construction of new (...)
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  18.  69
    Book Review: Jaap van Brakel: Philosophy of Chemistry: Between the Manifest and the Scientific Image Leuven University Press, Leuven, 2000, Xiv + 246 Pp., ISBN 90-5867-063-5. [REVIEW]Robin Findlay Hendry - 2004 - Foundations of Chemistry 7 (2):187-197.
  19.  46
    Introduction: Historiography and the Philosophy of the Sciences.Robin Findlay Hendry & Ian James Kidd - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55:1-2.
    The history of science and the philosophy of science have a long and tangled relationship. On the one hand, philosophical reflection on science can be guided, shaped, and challenged by historical scholarship—a process begun by Thomas Kuhn and continued by successive generations of ‘post-positivist’ historians and philosophers of science. On the other hand, the activity of writing the history of science raises methodological questions concerning, for instance, progress in science, realism and antirealism, and the semantics of scientific theories, questions which (...)
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  20.  35
    Realism and Progress: Why Scientists Should Be Realists: Robin Findlay Hendry.Robin Findlay Hendry - 1995 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 38:53-72.
    For as long as realists and instrumentalists have disagreed, partisans of both sides have pointed in argument to the actions and sayings of scientists. Realists in particular have often drawn comfort from the literal understanding given even to very theoretical propositions by many of those who are paid to deploy them. The scientists' realism, according to the realist, is not an idle commitment: a literal understanding of past and present theories and concepts underwrites their employment in the construction of new (...)
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  21. Kinetics, Models, and Mechanism.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2013 - In Ulrich Gähde, Stephan Hartmann & Jörn Henning Wolf (eds.), Models, Simulations, and the Reduction of Complexity. De Gruyter. pp. 221-228.
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  22.  18
    Review. [REVIEW]Robin Findlay Hendry - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (1):287-291.
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