Reading Group, Michaelmas Term 2013 and Hilary Term 2014

The team are holding a reading group on R. F. Hendrys manuscript, The Metaphysics of Chemistry, forthcoming with OUP. The book is divided into three parts, and in the words of the author:

Part I deals with chemical kinds, and argues that chemical substances are individuated by their microstructural properties. Part II concerns the historical development and mathematical structure of quantum chemistry, arguing that the emergence of quantum chemistry from the late 1920s onwards was a genuinely interdisciplinary affair, drawing on the theoretical assumptions and epistemic values of both physics and chemistry. Part III argues that successful quantum-mechanical explanations of chemical structure and bonding do not support the ontological reducibility of the chemical to the physical, as opposed to its ontological emergence.

The group will be of particular interest to those working in Metaphysics and in the History and Philosophy of Science, and is open to faculty, graduate students and anyone interested. Wine will be served after each meeting, and participants are warmly invited to stay and chat.

The reading group meets on Wednesdays, 4:306:30, at Corpus Christi College, Fraenkel Room, during weeks 2, 4, 6, and 8 of both MT2013 and HT2014.

The manuscript may be downloaded by clicking the links below. We will also post handouts and other relevant materials here. We will advertise through the weekly faculty announcements which materials we are reading at the next meeting(s).

Metaphysics of Chemistry

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10 

Handouts from Previous Meetings

Meeting 1
Meeting 2
Meeting 3

Handout from February 26th Meeting (chapter 8 and some of 9)

Handout from final meeting (chapters 9 and 10) 

Supplementary Readings

Beckermann - 'Supervenience, Emergence and Reduction'

Paneth - 'The Epistemological Status of the Chemical Concept of Element'