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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2003-04 >> abstracts

Tuesday, 30 September 2003
An Epistemological History of Atomism
Alan Chalmers, Flinders University
12:05 pm,817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: In this talk I will survey some of the epistemological issues associated with various versions of atomism from the seventeenth through to the early twentieth centuries. Issues will include the status of the seventeenth century versions of atomism and their relationship to the physics and chemistry of the period, the status of nineteenth century atomic chemistry and the rationale for opposition to the atomic hypothesis, especially in the light of Gibbs' thermodynamics, the significance of Perrin's experiments, and the status of atomic chemistry after those experiments. This history is intended to contribute to a fine-tuned account of confirmation in science and a clear distinction between science and philosophy.

Revised 3/11/08 - Copyright 2006