Article ID: CBB001022358

How Much History Can Chemistry Take? (2010)


Chemistry is typically considered to be a nomothetic science, i.e. a science interested in general laws rather than historical facts. Also, the unification of science is usually envisioned as an effort to connect particular scientific disciplines through their laws, e.g., the laws of chemistry are to be derived from the laws of physics. It is however equally sensible to combine the sciences through a single cosmic history. There is a large literature following this direction, albeit rarely focused on chemistry. In this paper some ideas concerning the possible role of a `historical' (or `idiographic') chemistry are presented, with special attention to the notion of a `genetic' classification of chemical compounds, and to the counterintuitive proposition that many major branches of physics may in fact be explained by chemistry, not the opposite. Astrochemistry, geochemistry, classification of chemical compounds, nomothetic and idiographic sciences, unification of science

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Authors & Contributors
Niaz, Mansoor
Carr, Christopher
Bhakthavatsalam, Sindhuja
Rayner-Canham, Geoff
Sheftall, M.G.
Demeter, Tamás
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Science and Education
Bulletin for the History of Chemistry
Substantia: An International Journal of the History of Chemistry
Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science
Cahiers François Viète Center for Epistemology and History of Science and Technology (CFV)
Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture
World Scientific Publishing Co.
Springer International
Oxford University Press
Philosophy of science
History of science, as a discipline
Theoretical physics
Kuhn, Thomas S.
Duhem, Pierre
Newton, Isaac
Nash, Leonard Kollender
Mendeleev, Dmitri Ivanovich
Koyré, Alexandre
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
Early modern
18th century
United States
American Institute of Physics

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