more from John Dupré

Single Idea 17384

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / B. Natural Kinds / 7. Critique of Kinds]

Full Idea

Even if we claim that it is really isotopes not atoms that are the natural kinds (thus divorcing chemistry from ordinary language), atoms are said to differ with respect to such features as energy levels of the electrons.

Gist of Idea

Even atoms of an element differ, in the energy levels of their electrons


John Dupré (The Disorder of Things [1993], 2)

Book Reference

Dupré,John: 'The Disorder of Things' [Harvard 1995], p.39

A Reaction

So we can't just pick out the features of one atom, and say that is the essence. Essence always involves some selection. I say the essence arises from the explanation of the atom's behaviour.