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Jargonium goes to the BSPS 2021 Conference!

Sarah and Vanessa will participate in the Symposium "Analogy and Unity in Chemical Ontology".

Sarah's talk will be about "Chemical Analogy, Classification and the Nature of the Halogens." Her talk aims to contribute to the debate on the concept of chemical element, which is a current issue in the philosophy of chemistry, by studying the attribution of elementary status in the early nineteenth century. It shows a strong link between chemistry’s relational ontology and the discovery of new chemical elements: the nature of chemical bodies could only be considered within the context of classification, and never completely

individually. Analogy in chemical properties was thought to indicate analogy in composition, and therefore a new elementary substance could only be established as part of a class of substances which all had similar chemical behaviour and fit into a coherent theoretical framework.

Vanessa will defend the "Unity of chemistry with quantum physics". In her talk, she examines one of the most widely-discussed questions in the philosophy of chemistry; namely, how is chemistry related to quantum physics, and what does their purported relation tell us about chemical ontology? The talk presents a novel model of non-reductive unity which is based on how the discovery of chemical entities and their properties have been largely influenced by the explanatory, confirmatory and predictive interconnections between the two sciences. This model not only correctly characterises how the two sciences are related, but also allows one to be a non-eliminativist about chemical entities, without having to hold a pluralist or strongly emergentist position.

Karoliina will ask "Could scientific representations help to cultivate epistemic humility? She will suggest that we have good reasons to believe that scientific representations that possess specific valuable attributes (or values) help to cultivate epistemic humility in those examining and using the representations. She will evoke two examples of scientific representations – one from 19th century chemistry, and the other from modern climate science – to demonstrate how specific values associated with representations help to cultivate epistemic humility. By doing so, she will bridge the gap between literature on values in science and intellectual virtues of inquirers. Considering that both deal with qualities that are used to characterise and appraise science and experts, surprisingly little has been written about the relationship between the two. She will suggest that it is worthwhile examining whether scientific representations that possess a certain set of values help to cultivate virtues of those examining and using the representations.

Here is the full programme of the conference:

*Vanessa will also participate with Alex's talk on their joint paper "The problem of molecular structure just is the measurement problem". Click here to read Alex's post about their paper.

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