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Phil Chem 3 Slides

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Philosophy of chemistry

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Phil Chem 3 Slides

  1. 1. Philosophy of Chemistry<br />On the question of reduction of chemistry to physics<br />
  2. 2. Relation between ‘whole’ and ‘parts’<br />Reductionism/materialism: <br />“Whole” can be understood in terms of its constituent parts. <br />We can understand the whole world in terms of its parts and manipulate it. <br />Classical physics concerned itself primarily with such a task, and it was considered the fundamental science whose theories can then be extended to other fields in science, engineering and technology. However, with the advent of quantum mechanics, it has now become clear that the whole is NOT constituted of its parts because of EPR correlations. <br />
  3. 3. Autonomy of chemistry<br />Different fields in science are making different kinds of abstractions of nature which cannot be explained by theories of physics. Lesson of QT is that in physics we have made one kind of abstraction, which has led to QT, but QT cannot explain what that abstraction is, because the abstractions lie outside the principles of QT. We have made other kinds of abstractions in other fields. QT is considered the most fundamental theory of physics. If QT cannot even explain the causality behind the abstractions in physics, how can we expect physics to be the fundamental science which explains all other fields of science?  Therefore we can say that each field of science is autonomous.<br />

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