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Resisting Chemical Atomism: Duhem's Argument
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
2008 (English)In: Philosophy of Science, Vol. 75, no 4, 834-845 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Late 19th century opponents of atomism questioned whether the evidence required any notion of an atom. In this spirit, Duhem developed an account of the import of chemical formulas which is clearly neutral on the atomic question rather than anti-atomistic. The argument is supplemented with specific inadequacies of atomic theories of chemical combination, and considerably strengthened by the theory of chemical combination provided by thermodynamics. Despite possible counter-evidence available at the time, which should have tempered some of Duhem’s concluding remarks, there was no atomic theory of chemical combination, which is wholly a product of the 20th century.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 75, no 4, 834-845 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-16629ISI: 000264125100037OAI: diva2:183149
Available from: 2008-12-19 Created: 2008-12-19 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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