Foundations of Chemistry

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 201–214

Chain reactions, “impossible” reactions, and panenmentalist possibilities


DOI: 10.1007/s10698-014-9201-0

Cite this article as:
Gilead, A. Found Chem (2014) 16: 201. doi:10.1007/s10698-014-9201-0


Panenmentalist possibilities are individual pure possibilities existing independently of any mind, actual reality, and possible-world conception. These possibilities are a priori accessible to our intellect and imagination. In this paper, I attempt to shed some panenmentalist light on the discovery of chemical branched chain reactions and its implications on biology and cancer research. I also examine the case of the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction which, at first, was believed to be impossible. Finally, I proceed to examine through a panenmentalist lens Szilard’s discovery of the possibility of physical chain reactions and Mullis’s discovery of a polymerase chain reaction. All these major actual discoveries clearly depend on the discovery of the relevant panenmentalist possibilities and the ways in which they relate to one another.


Branched chain reactions Nuclear chain reactions The Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction Polymerase chain reaction “Impossible” reactions Individual pure possibilities Panenmentalism 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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