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Is Quantum Chemistry a Degenerating Research Programme?

Hettema, Hinne (2007) Is Quantum Chemistry a Degenerating Research Programme? [Preprint]

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This note is intended to address one particular issue in the relative status of Quantum Chemistry in comparison to both Chemistry and Physics. It has been suggested, in the context of the question of the reduction relations between Chemistry and Physics that Quantum Chemistry as a research programme is incapable of furnishing useful guidance to practising chemists. If true, this claim will let us qualify Quantum Chemistry as a degenerating research programme, which, due to its complexity has difficulty to be applied to Chemistry. This claim is shown to be false. The replacement claim I wish to make is that Quantum Chemistry is perfectly capable of furnishing such guidance, but renders the ontological status of many models favored by chemists problematic. Quantum Chemistry, however, validates these models in an instrumental fashion. I will argue that Quantum Chemistry is a progressive research programme.

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Item Type: Preprint
Hettema, Hinne
Additional Information: This update is a small rewrite of the earlier paper. Specifically, Eric Scerri has asked me to revise a reference to one of his remarks in footnote 2. While I had read a comment in a paper of his to be in support of Woody's paper he sent me an email telling me that this was not the case. The submission is also typeset using the LaTeX stylefile of L&PS to which this has been submitted. This is not to be read as the paper being accepted for publication in L&PS or already being published there-it is merely in consideration of their recommended submission policy (i.e. to utilize their style file). The paper is however under consideration with L&PS.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
Depositing User: Hinne Hettema
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2007
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:15
Item ID: 3425
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
Date: July 2007

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