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  1. Ontological Status of Time in Chemistry.N. Sukumar - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (3):353-361.
    While temporal considerations are of prime importance for chemical reactions, as well as for molecular stability, most chemical concepts are not explicitly formulated on a diachronic basis. It will be argued here that a formulation explicitly incorporating temporal and epistemological considerations enables us to treat chemical reactions and chemical substances on ontologically equivalent terms, instead of assigning a more fundamental status to the latter. After all, in collision theory, a chemical substance is just a collision complex that takes too long. (...)
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  • Structure, shape, topology: entangled concepts in molecular chemistry.Elena Ghibaudi, Luigi Cerruti & Giovanni Villani - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):279-307.
    The concepts of molecular structure and molecular shape are ubiquitous in the chemical literature, where they are often taken as synonyms, with unavoidable drawbacks in chemistry teaching. A third concept, molecular topology, is less frequent but it is a reference term in molecular research domains such as Quantitative Structure–Activity Relationships. The present paper proposes an epistemological analysis of these three notions, aimed at clarifying the nature of their relationship, as well as the contiguities and differences between them. At first, we (...)
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  • How Properties Hold Together in Substances.Joseph E. Earley - 2016 - In Eric Scerri & Grant Fisher (eds.), Essays in Philosophy of Chemistry. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 199-216.
    This article aims to clarify how aspects of current chemical understanding relate to some important contemporary problems of philosophy. The first section points out that the long-running philosophical debates concerning how properties stay together in substances have neglected the important topic of structure-determining closure. The second part describes several chemically-important types of closure and the third part shows how such closures ground the properties of chemical substances. The fourth section introduces current discussions of structural realism (SR) and contextual emergence: the (...)
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  • A New ‘Idea of Nature’ for Chemical Education.Joseph E. Earley - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (7):1775-1786.
    This paper recommends that chemistry educators shift to a different ‘idea of nature’, an alternative ‘worldview.’ Much of contemporary science and technology deals in one way or another with dynamic coherences that display novel and important properties. The notion of how the world works that such studies and practices generate (and require) is quite different from the earlier concepts that are now integrated into science education. Eventual success in meeting contemporary technological and social challenges requires general diffusion of an overall (...)
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