Journal Article

Le Poidevin on the Reduction of Chemistry

Robin Findlay Hendry and Paul Needham

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 58, issue 2, pages 339-353
Published in print June 2007 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online April 2007 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axm008
Le Poidevin on the Reduction of Chemistry

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In this article we critically evaluate Robin Le Poidevin's recent attempt to set out an argument for the ontological reduction of chemistry independently of intertheoretic reduction. We argue, firstly, that the argument he envisages applies only to a small part of chemistry, and that there is no obvious way to extend it. We argue, secondly, that the argument cannot establish the reduction of chemistry, properly so called. 1

Introduction

2

The scope of the reductionist claim

3

The combinatorial argument

4

The strength of the ‘reduction’

5

Concluding remarks

Journal Article.  6244 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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