Foundations of Chemistry

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 311–326

Austere quantum mechanics as a reductive basis for chemistry


DOI: 10.1007/s10698-012-9173-x

Cite this article as:
Hettema, H. Found Chem (2013) 15: 311. doi:10.1007/s10698-012-9173-x


This paper analyses Richard Bader’s ‘operational’ view of quantum mechanics and the role it plays in the the explanation of chemistry. I argue that QTAIM can partially be reconstructed as an ‘austere’ form of quantum mechanics, which is in turn committed to an eliminative concept of reduction that stems from Kemeny and Oppenheim. As a reductive theory in this sense, the theory fails. I conclude that QTAIM has both a regulatory and constructive function in the theories of chemistry.


Operational quantum mechanicsOperationalismAtoms in moleculesElectron densityReductionExplanation

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand