Is chemistry a branch of physics?
- Mario Bunge
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Opinion is divided as to whether chemistry is reducible to physics. The problem can be given a satisfactory solution provided three conditions are met: that a science not be identified with its theories; that several notions of theory dependence be distinguished; and that quantum chemistry, rather than classical chemistry, be compared with physics. This paper proposes to perform all three tasks. It does so by analyzing the methodological concepts concerned as well as by examining the way a chemical rate constant is derivable with the help of the quantum atomic theory. The conclusion is that chemistry, and in particular quantum chemistry, is not a part of physics although it is certainly based on the latter.
- Bunge, M. (1973) Philosophy of Physics. Reidel, Dordrecht
- Bunge, M. (1977) Levels and reduction. American Journal of Physiology 233: pp. R 75-R 82
- Causey, R. L. (1977) Unity of Science. Reidel, Dordrecht and Boston
- García-Sucre, M., Bunge, M. (1981) The geometry of a quantal system. International Journal of Quantum Chemistry 19: pp. 83-93
- Hilbert, D. (1918) Axiomatisches Denken. Mathematische Annalen 78: pp. 405-415
- Ladik, J. J. (1973) Quantum theory of DNA. Summary of results and study program. Advances in Quantum Chemistry 7: pp. 397-445
- Levine, R. D. (1969) Quantum Mechanics of Molecular Rate Processes. Clarendon Press, Oxford
- Levine, R. D., Bernstein, R. B. (1974) Molecular Reaction Dynamics. Clarendon Press, Oxford
- Miller, W. H. eds. (1976) Modern Theoretical Chemistry, Vols. 1 and 2:Dynamics of Molecular Collisions. Plenum Press, New York
- Nagel, E. (1961) The Structure of Science. Brace & World, New York
- National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council :Theoretical Chemistry: A Current Review. Washington, D. C.
- Polanyi, J. C., Schreiber, J. L. The dynamics of bimolecular collisions. In: Eyring, H., Henderson, J., Jost, W. eds. (1973) Physical Chemistry: An Advanced Treatise, Vol. VIA. Academic Press, New York, pp. 383-487
- Wang, H. Process and existence in mathematics. In: Bar-Hillel, Y. eds. (1966) Essays in the Foundations of Mathematics. Magnes Press, Jerusalem, pp. 328-351
- Woolley, R. G. (1978) Must a molecule have a shape?. Journal of the American Chemical Society 100: pp. 1073-1078
- Note added in proof. A thesis of this paper, namely that quantum chemistry does not follow from quantum physics without further ado, but only with the help of subsidiary hypotheses, has also been defended by Monique Lévy, who calls the procedure ‘reduction by synthesis’, in her paper “Relations entre chimie et physique”,Epistemologia II:337–370 (1979). And the irreducibility of chemistry to physics has been defended, though not proved, by D. W. Theobald, “Some considerations on the philosophy of chemistry”,Chem. Soc. Revs. (London) 5:203–213 (1976).
- Is chemistry a branch of physics?
Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie
Volume 13, Issue 2 , pp 209-223
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Mario Bunge (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. McGill University, 3479 Peel Street, H3A 1W7, Montreal, PQ, Canada