Resolving a Controversy: The Non-Classical Ion Debate

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
If you need an accessible version of this item, please email your request to iusw@iu.edu so that they may create one and provide it to you.
Date
2010
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Abstract
This paper examines a scientific controversy that raged for twenty years in physical organic chemistry during the second half of the twentieth century. After explaining what was at stake in the Non-Classical Ion Debate, I attempt—by examining the methodological reflections of some of the participants—a partial explanation of why this debate was so difficult to resolve. Instead of suggesting a breakdown of scientific method or the futility of appeals to evidence, the endurance of this controversy instead reveals the heuristic character of many of the explanations and predictions generated by theoretical organic chemistry. The results in this case are used to suggest a new role for the study of scientific controversies in revealing the economics of inquiry in scientific fields.
Description
Keywords
modern, contemporary, structure of theories, chemistry, organic chemistry, history of chemistry, scientific explanation, theory/observation
Citation
DOI
Link(s) to data and video for this item
Preprint, http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/5131/
Relation
Rights
Type
Collections