This book uses history to introduce central issues in the philosophy of chemistry. Mobilizing the theme of impurity, it explores the tradition of chemistry's negative image. It then argues for the positive philosophical value of chemistry, reflecting its characteristic practical engagement with the material world. The book concludes with some ethical reflections concerning chemistry's orientations in the twenty-first century.The authors have previously both offered significant contributions to the history and philosophy of chemistry.
Natural versus Synthetic: Chemistry as Unnatural; The Damnation of the Alchemist; The Chemist's Laboratory: The Laboratory Space; Laboratory Practices; "Chemistry Creates Its Object"; Matter or Materials: The Philosophy of Matter Before 'Chemistry'; Chemistry versus Physics; Atoms or Elements?; A Philosophy of Its Own: Positivism versus Realism; Agencies and Relations; Taming the Nanoworld.