Philosophy of Chemistry - Philosophers of Chemistry

Philosophers of Chemistry

Several philosophers and scientists have focused on the philosophy of chemistry in recent years, notably, the Dutch philosopher Jaap van Brakel, who wrote The Philosophy of Chemistry in 2000, and the Maltese philosopher-chemist Eric Scerri, editor of the journal "Foundations of Chemistry" and author of Normative and Descriptive Philosophy of Science and the Role of Chemistry in Philosophy of Chemistry, 2004, among other articles. Scerri is especially interested in the philosophical foundations of the periodic table, and how physics and chemistry intersect in relation to it, which he contends is not merely a matter for science, but for philosophy.

Although in other fields of science students of the method are generally not practitioners in the field, in chemistry (particularly in synthetic organic chemistry) intellectual method and philosophical foundations are often explored by investigators with active research programmes. Elias James Corey developed the concept of "retrosynthesis" published a seminal work "The logic of chemical synthesis" which deconstructs these thought processes and speculates on computer-assisted synthesis. Other chemists such as K. C. Nicolaou (co-author of Classics in Total Synthesis) have followed in his lead.

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