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Collected Papers on Philosophy of Chemistry 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1848161375
ISBN-10: 1848161379
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Editorial Reviews


"This is an outstanding and much anticipated volume, which collects in one place a number of the seminal papers written by one of the pioneers in the philosophy of chemistry ... As a companion to Scerri's highly acclaimed book The Periodic Table, Its Story and Its Significance, this volume succeeds in bringing his important work on the many facets of the reductionism debate to the attention of a new group of readers, who need to appreciate the prominent role that this debate has played from the outset in all areas of the philosophy of chemistry, and the role that Scerri himself has played in this debate ... The volume itself is handsomely produced and the selections are well chosen ... Every scholar in the philosophy of chemistry will want to have this volume close, to dip into, to learn about the latest thinking of one of the leading scholars in the field, and to have as a handy collection of his earlier papers." --Foundations of Chemistry

"Eric Scerri brings sound chemical, historical, and philosophic scholarship to bear on the many aspects of chemical teaching that concern long-standing philosophical puzzles. Such work illuminates chemical education in interesting and unexpected ways, and also may well contribute to resolving problems in academic philosophy that have resisted other approaches."
-- Science & Education

"General readers (or chemists, science educators, or philosophers) seeking an overview of this area could find no more effective, concise, convenient entry into this important and actively developing field than the one that this volume provides." --Joseph E Earley, Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University, USA

"...A collection of papers from one of the founders of the new philosophy of chemistry. It is only the second single-author collection of papers on the philosophy of chemistry." -- Chemical & Engineering News


Eric Scerri is something of a rara avis. Scerri's philosophical orientation enriches the text by raising a number of thought-provoking issues ... The book under review here is clearly and engaging written and meticulously researched with 42 pages of notes.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Imperial College Press; 1 edition (June 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848161379
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848161375
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,652,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am originally from Malta and was educated in England at the Universities of London, Southampton and Cambridge. I wrote a PhD on the relationship between chemistry and quantum mechanics at King's College, London in 1992 and have continued to carry out research on this topic. I am currently in my twelvth year in the Chemistry Department at UCLA where I teach large general chemistry classes as well as courses in History and Philosophy of Science. After publishing over 100 research articles I decided to try to reach a wider audience by writing a book on the periodic table of the elements which has been an interest of mine since my days as a chemistry high school student in London. I was recently awarded the Herbert Newby McCoy award by the Chemistry Department at UCLA. This is the major faculty award for the most significant contribution to the science of chemistry. My is being received exceptionally well and I have had many invitations to speak both in the US and abroad. I wrote the book because there is simply no up-to-date and comprehensive account of the evolution and significasnce of the periodic system in relationship to quantum physics. Oliver Sacks has written "Its a gorgeous book. I keep it by my bedside and stayed up all night reading it". The author of the only previous comprehensive treatment of the periodic table, Jan van Spronsen writes on the back cover that the book represents a worthy successor to his own book. It is written at a general accessible level, while still aiming to appeal to the experts in chemistry, physics, history of science, philosophy of science and science education. I would be delighted to hear from readers who might have comments or questions on the material that I discuss. Eric Scerri

Please see my website at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Eric Scerri is widely acknowledged as one of the leading figures in the philosophy of chemistry. Over the years he has published many papers in the field that have become instant classics, but until now these have only been available in many journals scattered across the discipline. This volume is a welcome addition as it brings together a great many of his most-cited and important papers on reductionism, the periodic table, and other topics, in one place. In addition to this convenience, I really enjoyed the introductory essay to the volume, which ties together not only some of the intellectual themes that have run throughout Scerri's career, but also provides a bit of intellectual biography for one of the giants in the field. If you are a scholar in the philosophy of chemistry, this is an indispensable book.
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Collected Papers on Philosophy of Chemistry
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