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Metachemistry

Nordmann, Alfred
Llored, Jean Pierre (ed.)
Nordmann, Alfred (Corporate Creator) (2013):
Metachemistry.
In: The Philosophy of Chemistry: Practices, Methodologies, and Concepts, Newcastle, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, pp. 725-743, [Online-Edition: http://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/6880],
[Book Section]

Abstract

The term "metachemistry" was introduced by Gaston Bachelard and served primarily to identify the need for a Whiteheadian ontology that could draw lessons from chemistry and that would hold for all of the sciences. This paper will follow Bachelard's proposal only to a very limited extent and take the notion of "metachemistry" in a different direction. Where Bachelard considered chemistry a pure science in its own right and generalized from a specific state of its development, “metachemistry” is in the following thought to provide general insights from an understanding of chemistry as an impure technoscience. The difference between metaphysics and metachemistry therefore signifies a shift in the kinds of questions one asks about the sciences and the technosciences and the kinds of answers one might expect. In respect to chemistry, this would amount to abandoning the question about the specific character of chemistry as opposed to physics. Instead of chemistry aspiring to hold its own in the pantheon of the sciences, the notion of metachemistry refers to chemistry as a technology for bringing forth new things. In respect to the implicit presuppositions of knowledge production, metaphysics refers to the conditions that allow for the scientific representation of facts while metachemistry to the conditions for the technoscientific realization of things. Arguably, Lavoisier's dictum that "there is nothing new in art and nature" is a precondition for scientific explanation and representation, but the alchemical tradition in all of chemistry and now, for example, in nanotechnology subverts this dictum permanently.

Item Type: Book Section
Erschienen: 2013
Editors: Llored, Jean Pierre
Creators: Nordmann, Alfred
Title: Metachemistry
Language: English
Abstract:

The term "metachemistry" was introduced by Gaston Bachelard and served primarily to identify the need for a Whiteheadian ontology that could draw lessons from chemistry and that would hold for all of the sciences. This paper will follow Bachelard's proposal only to a very limited extent and take the notion of "metachemistry" in a different direction. Where Bachelard considered chemistry a pure science in its own right and generalized from a specific state of its development, “metachemistry” is in the following thought to provide general insights from an understanding of chemistry as an impure technoscience. The difference between metaphysics and metachemistry therefore signifies a shift in the kinds of questions one asks about the sciences and the technosciences and the kinds of answers one might expect. In respect to chemistry, this would amount to abandoning the question about the specific character of chemistry as opposed to physics. Instead of chemistry aspiring to hold its own in the pantheon of the sciences, the notion of metachemistry refers to chemistry as a technology for bringing forth new things. In respect to the implicit presuppositions of knowledge production, metaphysics refers to the conditions that allow for the scientific representation of facts while metachemistry to the conditions for the technoscientific realization of things. Arguably, Lavoisier's dictum that "there is nothing new in art and nature" is a precondition for scientific explanation and representation, but the alchemical tradition in all of chemistry and now, for example, in nanotechnology subverts this dictum permanently.

Title of Book: The Philosophy of Chemistry: Practices, Methodologies, and Concepts
Place of Publication: Newcastle
Publisher: Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars
Divisions: 02 Department of History and Social Science > Institute of Philosophy
07 Department of Chemistry
02 Department of History and Social Science
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2017 19:55
Official URL: http://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/6880
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-68805
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