Foundations of Chemistry

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 225-238

First online:

Circulation of Concepts

  • Pierre LaszloAffiliated withDépartement de chimie, École polytechniqueUniversité de Liège

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A major obstacle to chemistry being a deductive science is that its core concepts very often are defined in a circular manner: it is impossible to explain what an acid is without reference to the complementary concept of a base. There are many such dual pairs among the core concepts of chemistry. Such circulation of concepts, rather than an infirmity chemistry is beset with, is seen as a source of vitality and dynamism.