more from Robin F. Hendry

Single Idea 17481

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / k. Explanations by essence]

Full Idea

Given relevant laws of nature (quantum mechanics, the exclusion principle) nuclear charge determines and explains electronic structure and spectroscopic behaviour, but not vice versa.

Gist of Idea

Nuclear charge (plus laws) explains electron structure and spectrum, but not vice versa


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

Book Reference

'Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science', ed/tr. Psillos,S/Curd,M [Routledge 2010], p.523

A Reaction

I argue that the first necessary condition for essentialism is a direction of explanation, and here we seem to have one.

Related Idea

Idea 17480 Generally it is nuclear charge (not nuclear mass) which determines behaviour [Hendry]