Scientific pluralism and the Chemical Revolution

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
In a number of papers and in his recent book, Is Water H₂O? Evidence, Realism, Pluralism (2012), Hasok Chang has argued that the correct interpretation of the Chemical Revolution provides a strong case for the view that progress in science is served by maintaining several incommensurable “systems of practice” in the same discipline, and concerning the same region of nature. This paper is a critical discussion of Chang's reading of the Chemical Revolution. It seeks to establish, first, that Chang's assessment of Lavoisier's and Priestley's work and character follows the phlogistonists' “actors' sociology”; second, that Chang simplifies late-eighteenth-century chemical debates by reducing them to an alleged conflict between two systems of practice; third, that Chang's evidence for a slow transition from phlogistonist theory to oxygen theory is not strong; and fourth, that he is wrong to assume that chemists at the time did not have overwhelming good reasons to favour Lavoisier's over the phlogistonists' views.
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2017-05-31
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
343 ( #22,121 of 69,115 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
29 ( #28,691 of 69,115 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.