Foundations of Chemistry

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 225–228 | Cite as

Internal realism and the problem of ontological autonomy: a critical note on Lombardi and Labarca

  • Alexandru ManafuEmail author


This paper discusses the proposal made by Lombardi and Labarca (Found Chem 7:125–148, 2005) that internal realism can secure the ontological autonomy of chemistry. I argue that internal realism is not, by itself, sufficient to accomplish this task. The fact that conceptual schemes may differ with respect to their theoretical virtues, and the possibility that the relations between them may be reductive undermine the premise that each conceptual scheme has an equal right to define its own ontology, which is a key premise in Lombardi and Labarca’s proposal.


Autonomy of chemistry Internal realism Conceptual schemes Reduction of chemistry to physics Ontological rights 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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