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dc.contributor.authorSides, Jonathan Daviden_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-14T21:41:11Z
dc.date.available2014-03-14T21:41:11Z
dc.date.issued2006-07-13en_US
dc.identifier.otheretd-07252006-231659en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/43909
dc.description.abstractThe periodic table poses a difficulty for both scientific realists and anti-realists. The antirealist has difficulty accounting for the success of the table during a period in chemistry when many theories and concepts changed; the spatial relations of current tables in use do not show fundamental changes from the original tables proposed by Mendeleev. Yet, most versions of scientific realism are based upon the understanding that theories are some collection of written propositions or equations. The table as an image successfully functions very much like a theory: it is an organization of known facts, has been used to make predictions, and is plastic enough to accommodate unforeseen novel facts. Assuming the truth of the representational relations between the table and the world poses interesting issues for the realist. Ian Hacking's entity realism and the structural realism of several philosophers are both possible versions of scientific realism that fail to account for the table. Hacking's version fails in this case because the role of representation is central to understanding the history of the table; structural realism fails because it diminishes to much the role that first order properties have as they relate to the formulation of the second order relationships that comprise the table. Philip Kitcher of Science, Truth, and Democracy leaves himself open to two interpretations about the metaphysics of pluralism. One of these is indefensible; the other is quite well supported by the plurality of successful periodic tables.en_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.relation.haspartFormatted_thesis.pdfen_US
dc.rightsI hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Virginia Tech or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.en_US
dc.subjectPhilosophy of scienceen_US
dc.subjectscientific theoriesen_US
dc.subjectscientific realismen_US
dc.subjectperiodic tableen_US
dc.titleScientific Realism and the Periodic Table of Chemical Elementsen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.contributor.departmentPhilosophyen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Artsen_US
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Artsen_US
thesis.degree.levelmastersen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePhilosophyen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairBurian, Richard M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPitt, Joseph C.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPerini, Lauraen_US
dc.identifier.sourceurlhttp://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-07252006-231659/en_US
dc.date.sdate2006-07-25en_US
dc.date.rdate2008-09-14
dc.date.adate2006-09-14en_US


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