How philosophy helps solve puzzles in chemistryAmong other things, this includes the logical analysis of arguments, the close examination of scientific concepts and their meanings, and the critical evaluation of approximations and idealisations.6 In fact, I should point out that pursuing a philosophical analysis of scientific problems is not an activity that is (or should be) performed exclusively by philosophers. As this example shows, the philosophical analysis of a scientific puzzle does not amount to merely evaluating existing scientific responses. Even if chemists do not realise it, the tools they use to evaluate models, theories and hypotheses are very much out of the philosopher’s toolbox. Intriguingly, the work of philosophers on this problem shows that there are certain scientific puzzles that are philosophical puzzles as well. Philosophers analyse the impact that differing views have had on science’s understanding of chemical bonds, and illuminate relevant historical and semantic issues to help clarify their exact nature. We often think that the problems that scientists puzzle over are solved by doing more experiments, revising scientific theories or developing more powerful computational methods.
Article from Chemistry World.