Roald Hoffmann on the Philosophy, Art, and Science of Chemistry

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Overview

Nobel laureate Roald Hoffmann's contributions to chemistry are well known. Less well known, however, is that over a career that spans nearly fifty years, Hoffmann has thought and written extensively about a wide variety of other topics, such as chemistry's relationship to philosophy, literature, and the arts, including the nature of chemical reasoning, the role of symbolism and writing in science, and the relationship between art and craft and science. In Roald Hoffmann on the Philosophy, Art, and Science of ...

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Roald Hoffmann on the Philosophy, Art, and Science of Chemistry

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Overview

Nobel laureate Roald Hoffmann's contributions to chemistry are well known. Less well known, however, is that over a career that spans nearly fifty years, Hoffmann has thought and written extensively about a wide variety of other topics, such as chemistry's relationship to philosophy, literature, and the arts, including the nature of chemical reasoning, the role of symbolism and writing in science, and the relationship between art and craft and science. In Roald Hoffmann on the Philosophy, Art, and Science of Chemistry, Jeffrey Kovac and Michael Weisberg bring together twenty-eight of Hoffmann's most important essays. Gathered here are Hoffmann's most philosophically significant and interesting essays and lectures, many of which are not widely accessible. In essays such as "Why Buy That Theory," "Nearly Circular Reasoning," "How Should Chemists Think," "The Metaphor, Unchained," "Art in Science," and "Molecular Beauty," we find the mature reflections of one of America's leading scientists. Organized under the general headings of Chemical Reasoning and Explanation, Writing and Communicating, Art and Science, Education, and Ethics, these stimulating essays provide invaluable insight into the teaching and practice of science.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199755905
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/23/2012
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 1,435,370
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Kovac is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Tennessee. Michael Weisberg is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction, by Michael Weisberg and Jeffrey Kovac.

1 Trying to Understand, Making Bonds, by Roald Hoffmann

Part 1: Chemical Reasoning and Explanation
2. Why Buy That Theory?, by Roald Hoffmann.
3. What Might Philosophy of Science Look Like If Chemists Built It?, by Roald Hoffmann
4. Unstable, by Roald Hoffmann
5. Nearly Circular Reasoning, by Roald Hoffmann
6. Ockham's Razor and Chemistry, by Roald Hoffmann, Vladimir I. Minkin, and Barry K. Carpenter
7. Qualitative Thinking in the Age of Modern Computational Chemistry, or What Lionel Salem Knows, by Roald Hoffmann
8. Narrative, by Roald Hoffmann
9. Learning from Molecules in Distress, by Roald Hoffmann and Henning Hopf
10. Why Think Up New Molecules? by Roald Hoffmann
11. Protean, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo
12. How Should Chemists Think? by Roald Hoffmann

Part 2: Writing and Communicating in Chemistry
13. Under the Surface of the Chemical Article, by Roald Hoffmann
14. Representation in Chemistry, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo
15.. The Say of Things, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo
16. How Symbolic and Iconic Languages Bridge the Two Worlds of the Chemist: A Case Study from Contemporary Bioorganic Chemistry, by Emily R. Grosholz and Roald Hoffmann
17 How Nice to Be an Outsider, by Roald Hoffmann
18. The Metaphor, Unchained, by Roald Hoffmann,

Part 3: Art and Science
19. Art in Science? by Roald Hoffmann
20. Science and Crafts by Roald Hoffmann
21. Molecular Beauty, by Roald Hoffmann
Part 4 Chemical Education
22. Teach to Search by Roald Hoffmann
23. Some Heretical Thoughts on What Our Students Are Telling Us, by Roald Hoffmann and Brian P. Coppola
24 Very Specific Teaching Strategies, and Why They Work, by Roald Hoffmann and Saundra Y. McGuire
Part 5 Ethics in Science
25. Mind the Shade, by Roald Hoffmann
26. Science and Ethics: A Marriage of Necessity and Choice for this Millennium," by Roald Hoffmann
27. Honesty to the Singular Object, by Roald Hoffmann
28. The Material and Spiritual Rationales Are Inseparable, by Roald Hoffmann

Index

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    Tour de force by a great chemist

    In addition to being a great chemist, Nobelist Roald Hoffmann is also a poet, playwright, and essayist. This wonderful collection of twenty eight of the latter covers a lot of ground including thinking about chemistry and by chemists, communication of chemistry, the blend of art and science, chemical education, and ethics in science. Highly recommended to chemistry students, teachers, and the scientifically aware general public.

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