more from Robin F. Hendry

Single Idea 17479

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / a. Scientific essentialism]

Full Idea

Whatever earns something membership of the extension of 'krypton' must be a property that can survive chemical change and, therefore, the gain and loss of electrons. Hence what makes it krypton must be a nuclear property.

Gist of Idea

The nature of an element must survive chemical change, so it is the nucleus, not the electrons


Robin F. Hendry (Chemistry [2008], 'Micro')

Book Reference

'Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science', ed/tr. Psillos,S/Curd,M [Routledge 2010], p.522

A Reaction

A very nice illuminating example of essentialism in chemistry. The 'nature' is what survives through change, just like what Aristotle said, innit?

Related Ideas

Idea 17476 Elements survive chemical change, and are tracked to explain direction and properties [Hendry]

Idea 485 Things must retain their essential nature during change, or mixing would be impossible [Diogenes of Apollonia]