more from Eric R. Scerri

Single Idea 17421

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / B. Natural Kinds / 1. Natural Kinds]

Full Idea

Elements defined by their atomic numbers are frequently assumed to represent 'natural kinds' in chemistry. ...The question arises as to whether groups of elements appearing in the periodic table might also represent natural kinds.

Gist of Idea

If elements are natural kinds, might the groups of the periodic table also be natural kinds?


Eric R. Scerri (The Periodic Table [2007], 10 'Elements')

Book Reference

Scerri,Eric R.: 'The Periodic Table' [OUP 2007], p.280

A Reaction

Scerri says the distinction is not as sharp as that between the elements. As a realist, he believes there is 'one ideal periodic classification', which would then make the periods into kinds.