Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 April 2017
Scientific progress remains one of the most significant issues in the philosophy of science today. This is not only because of the intrinsic importance of the topic, but also because of its immense difficulty. In what sense exactly does science makes progress, and how is it that scientists are apparently able to achieve it better than people in other realms of human intellectual endeavour? Neither philosophers nor scientists themselves have been able to answer these questions to general satisfaction.
2 Sarton, G., Introduction to the History of Science, I (Baltimore: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1927), 3–4; emphasis original.Google Scholar
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6 Foley, R., ‘Justification Epistemic’, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Craig, V. E. (ed.) (London: Routledge, 1998), 158–159.Google Scholar
10 Reported in Biot, J. B., Traité de physique expérimentale et mathématique (Paris: Deterville, 1816), vol. 1, 42–43.Google Scholar
11 van der Star, P. (ed.), Fahrenheit's Letters to Leibniz and Boerhaave (Leiden: Museum Boerhaave; Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1983), 80–81.Google Scholar
12 These examples were discussed at a presentation I gave at the workshop on ‘Matters of Substance’ at the University of Durham on 28 August 2006.
13 Lavoisier, A. L., Elements of Chemistry, in a New Systematic Order, Containing all the Modern Discoveries, Kerr, R. (trans.) (New York: Dover, 1965Google Scholar; originally published in French in 1789, original English translation in 1790), xxiv; emphasis original.
15 There is a large historical literature on the Chemical Revolution, but the best introduction to the subject for philosophers is Musgrave, A., ‘Why Did Oxygen Supplant Phlogiston? Research Programmes in the Chemical Revolution’, Method and Appraisal in the Physical Sciences, Howson, C. (ed.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), 181–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
19 These reversals are regarded as ‘the real center’ of the Chemical Revolution by Siegfried and Dobbs, , op. cit. note 14, 281.Google Scholar
20 In modern terms, lime-water is an aqueous solution of calcium hydroxide (‘slaked lime’), which reacts with carbon dioxide to produce calcium carbonate (chalk), which is insoluble in water so makes a precipitate. In chemical symbols, the reaction is: Ca(OH)2 + CO2 → CaCO3 + H2O. It was known from early on that chalk (CaCO3) could be made into caustic lime (CaO) by heating, but it was not recognized until Black's work that the process was a decomposition of chalk into lime and fixed air (CO2). Caustic lime (CaO) becomes slaked lime (Ca(OH)2) by absorbing water (H2O), and slaked lime dissolves in water, making lime-water. See Lowry, T. M., Historical Introduction to Chemistry, rev. ed. (London: Macmillan, 1936), 61, and the rest of chapter 4.Google Scholar
21 For a brief introduction to the history of fixed air, see Brock, W. H., The Fontana History of Chemistry (London: Fontana Press, 1992), 78, 97–106, 124.Google Scholar
22 Black, J., Experiments upon Magnesia Alba, Quick-Lime, and other Alcaline Substances, Alembic Club Reprints, No. 1 (Edinburgh: William F. Clay, 1893), 24–25.Google Scholar