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Some aspects of the metaphysics of chemistry and the nature of the elements

Scerri, Eric (2005) Some aspects of the metaphysics of chemistry and the nature of the elements. [Preprint]

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There is now a considerable body of published work on the epistemology of modern chemistry, especially with regard to the nature of quantum chemistry. In addition, the question of the metaphysical underpinnings of chemistry has received a good deal of attention. The present article concentrates on metaphysical considerations including the question of whether elements and groups of elements are natural kinds. It is also argued that an appeal to the metaphysical nature of elements can help to clarify the re-emerging controversies among chemists regarding the placement of the elements hydrogen and helium in the periodic system and the question of whether there exists a best form of the periodic table.

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Item Type: Preprint
Scerri, Eric
Keywords: chemistry, elements, metaphysics, natural kinds, periodic system
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
Depositing User: Eric Scerri
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2005
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:13
Item ID: 2213

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