2.30 Chemistry

Category: Philosophy of Science

Keywords: chemistry, energy, atoms, conservation, atom, galileo, mass, heat, chemical, maxwell, molecules, newton, motions, electrons, forces

Number of Articles: 402
Percentage of Total: 1.2%
Rank: 30th

Weighted Number of Articles: 344.4
Percentage of Total: 1.1%
Rank: 35th

Mean Publication Year: 1966.3
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1966.5
Median Publication Year: 1962
Modal Publication Year: 1954

Topic with Most Overlap: Theories and Realism (0.0376)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Space and Time (0.0357)
Topic with Least Overlap: Liberal Democracy (0.00014)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Feminism (0.00021)

A scatterplot showing which proportion of articles each year are in the chemistrytopic. The x-axis shows the year, the y-axis measures the proportion of articles each year in this topic. There is one dot per year. The highest value is in 1941 when 3.7% of articles were in this topic. The lowest value is in 1883 when 0.1% of articles were in this topic. The full table that provides the data for this graph is available in Table A.30 in Appendix A.

Figure 2.76: Chemistry.

A set of twelve scatterplots showing the proportion of articles in each journal in each year that are in the Chemistrytopic. There is one scatterplot for each of the twelve journals that are the focus of this book. In each scatterplot, the x-axis is the year, and the y-axis is the proportion of articles in that year in that journal in this topic. Here are the average values for each of the twelve scatterplots - these tell you on average how much of the journal is dedicated to this topic. Mind - 0.6%. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society - 0.9%. Ethics - 0.1%. Philosophical Review - 0.8%. Analysis - 0.4%. Philosophy and Public Affairs - 0.1%. Journal of Philosophy - 0.9%. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research - 0.4%. Philosophy of Science - 3.3%. Noûs - 0.6%. The Philosophical Quarterly - 0.3%. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science - 4.2%. The topic reaches its zenith in year 1880 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 2.8% of the articles. And it hits a minimum in year 1883 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 0.1% of the articles.

Figure 2.77: Chemistry articles in each journal.

Table 2.67: Characteristic articles of the chemistry topic.
Table 2.68: Highly cited articles in the chemistry topic.


I’ve called this philosophy of chemistry, but it could just as easily be described as nonfundamental physics. Any kinds of discussion of physics beyond the most fundamental is a candidate for ending up here.

But note this could easily be merged with the later topic on thermodynamics, which captures a lot of recent work on philosophical issues arising out of the study of entropy. Looking at these graphs gives a slight underestimate of how much time philosophers of physics (broadly construed) spend looking at anything other than maximally fundamental issues in physics.