Philosophy Research Seminar - Wholes and Parts in Quantum Chemistry - Jean-Pierre Llored
Cotham House, G2
Philosophers mainly refer to quantum chemistry in order to address questions about the reducibility or autonomy of chemistry relative to quantum physics, and to argue for or against ontological emergence. To make their point, they scrutinize quantum approximations and formalisms as if they were independent of the questions at stake.
This presentation proposes a return to history from 1920 to nowadays and to different research laboratories so as to emphasize how quantum chemists have always been developing approaches and methods in which a molecule, its parts and its environment take part in the calculation, and not the molecule and its parts only.
This investigation will enable us to examine how the study of quantum chemistry can clarify important philosophical issues related, for instance, to the emergence/reduction debate, or to the theoretical relationships between chemistry and physics.