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The Periodic Table and the Turn to Practice

Scerri, Eric (2019) The Periodic Table and the Turn to Practice. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The philosopher of chemistry Andrea Woody has recently published a wide-ranging article concerning the turn to practice in the philosophy of science. Her primary example consists of the use of different forms of representations by Lothar Meyer and Dmitri Mendeleev when they presented their views on chemical periodicity. Woody believes that this distinction can cast light on various issues including why Mendeleev was able to make predictions while Meyer was not. Secondly, she claims that it can clarify the much-debated question concerning the relative values of prediction and accommodation of data in the way that the periodic system was accepted. Thirdly, Woody believes that such differences in the representation of periodicity can be used to argue for the explanatory nature of the periodic table in contrast with the more traditional view that the periodic table is not explanatory.
This discussion examines each of these claims and argues that they need to be qualified and in some cases rejected.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Scerri, Ericscerri@chem.ucla.edu
Keywords: chemistry, periodic table, Mendeleev, Lothar Meyer, Prediction, Accommodation, Explanation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Eric Scerri
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2019 11:07
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2019 11:07
Item ID: 16186
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16186

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