Article ID: CBB000930626

Fundamental Theories and Their Empirical Patches (2008)


Berson, Jerome A. (Author)

Foundations of Chemistry
Volume: 10
Pages: 147--156

Publication Date: 2008
Edition Details: Part of a special issue on the intersections of theory and practice in the chemical sciences.
Language: English

Many theories require empirical patches or ad hoc assumptions to work properly in application to chemistry. Some examples include the Bohr quantum theory of atomic spectra, the Pauli exclusion principle, the Marcus theory of the rate-equilibrium correlation, Kekule's hypothesis of bond oscillation in benzene, and the quantum calculation of reaction pathways. Often the proposed refinements do not grow out of the original theory but are devised and added ad hoc. This brings into question the goal of constructing theories derived from first principles and the concept of ranking the merit of theories according to their freedom from empirical contamination. Keywords Merit of theories - Empirical content - Pragmatic imperatives


Description On application of empirical and ad hoc modifications to chemical theory.

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Article Spector, Tami I. (2008) ISPC 2007 Editorial. Foundations of Chemistry (p. 145). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Skorburg, Joshua August
Llored, Jean-Pierre
Elliott, Steve
Parsons, Keith M.
Wilholt, Torsten
Viola, Enrico
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Foundations of Chemistry
Science and Education
Monist: An International Quarterly Journal of General Philosophical Inquiry
International Studies in the Philosophy of Science
Interchange: The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Tinta da China
Prometheus Books
Oxford University Press
Cambridge University Press
Philosophy of science
Explanation; hypotheses; theories
Pragmatism; instrumentalism
Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent
Priestley, Joseph
Mendeleev, Dmitri Ivanovich
Addams, Jane
Woody, Andrea I.
Stein, Howard
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
18th century
20th century, late
21st century
20th century
United States

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