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‘The physicists, the chemists and the pragmatics of explanation’

Hendry, R.F.

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In this paper I investigate two views of theoretical explanation in quantum chemistry, advocated by John Clarke Slater and Charles Coulson. Slater argued for quantum-mechanical rigor, and the primacy of fundamental principles in models of chemical bonding. Coulson emphasized systematic explanatory power within chemistry, and continuity with existing chemical explanations. I relate these views to the epistemic contexts of their disciplines.


Hendry, R. (2004). ‘The physicists, the chemists and the pragmatics of explanation’. Philosophy of Science, 71(5), 1048-1059.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2004-12
Deposit Date Jul 28, 2008
Publicly Available Date Jul 28, 2008
Journal Philosophy of Science
Print ISSN 0031-8248
Publisher Philosophy of Science Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 71
Issue 5
Pages 1048-1059
Keywords Quantum chemistry, Physics, Explanation, Reduction, Coulson, Slater.
Publisher URL


Published Journal Article (74 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2004 by the Philosophy of Science Association

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