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Better realism through chemistry

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Better realism through chemistry

Snooks, Rodney James (2002) Better realism through chemistry. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The practise and history of the science of synthetic chemistry, that of preparing new substances, is examined in relation to the issue of atomic/molecular realism, the status of the literal existence of atoms and molecules. The discussion is situated by a brief examination of leading contemporary work considering scientific realism in general. On the basis of past criticism of scientific realism and general metaphysical principles regarding existence and observability, it is argued that a good case can be made for the existence of causal entities bearing sufficiently close analogical resemblance to familiar, everyday objects. Numerous considerations from the current practise of synthetic chemistry and its history are argued to support a position of realism concerning atoms and molecules. This conclusion is drawn because hypothesised molecules and their shapes have numerous causally efficacious properties resembling those of macroscopic bodies, and because these properties only expand their coherence through technological and intellectual innovation independent of the molecular hypothesis.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Snooks, Rodney James
Pagination:vi, 86 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Philosophy
Date:2002
Thesis Supervisor(s):Wayne, Andrew
ID Code:1893
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:23
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:23
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