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Reduction and Emergence in Chemistry—Two Recent Approaches

Eric Scerri
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 74, No. 5, Proceedings of the 2006 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science AssociationPart I: Contributed PapersEdited by Cristina Bicchieri and Jason Alexander (December 2007), pp. 920-931
DOI: 10.1086/525633
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/525633
Page Count: 12
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Reduction and Emergence in Chemistry—Two Recent Approaches
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Abstract

Two articles on the reduction of chemistry are examined. The first, by McLaughlin (1992), claims that chemistry is reduced to physics and that there is no evidence for emergence or for downward causation between the chemical and the physical level. In a more recent article, Le Poidevin (2005) maintains that his combinatorial approach provides grounding for the ontological reduction of chemistry, which also circumvents some limitations in the physicalist program.

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