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Patching Physics and Chemistry Together

Bishop, Robert (2004) Patching Physics and Chemistry Together. In: UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)


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The "usual story" regarding molecular chemistry is that it is roughly an application of quantum mechanics. That is to say, quantum mechanics supplies everything necessary and sufficient, both ontologically and epistemologically to reduce molecular chemistry to quantum mechanics. This is a reductive story, to be sure, but a key explanatory element of molecular chemistry, namely molecular structure, is absent from the quantum realm. On the other hand, typical characterizations of emergence, such as the unpredictability or inexplicability of molecular structure based on quantum mechanics do not characterize the relationship between molecular chemistry and quantum mechanics well either. A different scheme for characterizing reduction and emergence is proposed that accommodates the relationship between quantum mechanics and molecular chemistry and some initial objections to the scheme are considered.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Bishop, Robert
Keywords: Context, Reduction, Emergence, Chemistry, Quantum Mechanics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Dr Robert C. Bishop
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2004
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:12
Item ID: 1880
Public Domain: No
Conference Date: 18-20 November 2004
Conference Location: Austin, Texas

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