How much history can chemistry take?

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HYLE--International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry, Vol: 16, Issue: 2, Page: 104-120

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Lamza, Lukasz
article description
Chemistry is typically considered to be a nomothetic science, i.e. science interested in general laws rather than historical facts. Also, the unification of science is usually envisioned as an effort to connect particular scientific disciplines through their laws: e.g. laws of chemistry are derived from the laws of physics. It is however equally sensible to combine the sciences through a single cosmic history and there is a large literature following this direction, albeit rarely focused on chemistry. In the paper some ideas concerning the possible role of a ‘historical’ (or ‘idiographic’) chemistry are presented, with special attention paid to the notion of a ‘genetic’ classification of chemical compounds, and to the counterintuivite proposition that many major branches of physics may in fact be explained by chemistry, not the opposite.