A Philosophical Essay on Molecular Structure
Ochiai Hirofumi, Author

Molecular structure is something taken for granted by chemists. Together with elements, atoms and bonds, it is the basis for talking about organic chemistry. Given molecular structure, chemists are engaged in designing molecules and performing chemical syntheses of a variety of compounds. The structure-activity relationship in drug research is an illuminating example. However, of course, nobody has ever seen molecular structure. Molecules are too small to see. Moreover, molecular structure cannot be derived a priori from fundamental principles of quantum mechanics. This book explores why this is the case. Is what chemists take to be molecular structure real? This book addresses head-on the ontological, as well as epistemological, grounds of one of the most fundamental concepts of chemistry. Its arguments are grounded on the learning of the history of chemistry, philosophy (Kant in particular), quantum mechanics and organic chemistry. The book will serve as a good introduction to the philosophy of chemistry.

Cambridge Scholars Publishing
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