Symposium on the Philosophy of Chemistry

Bogota, July 21-23, 2009.
Universidad de los Andes
Auditorio Hermes


General information
  • To think how science is made and its implications has played an important role in the development of science itself.
  • Traditional areas of this study have been the philosophy of mathematics, of physics and of biology.
  • Curiously enough, although Chemistry is as mature a science as the former three, and probably has had the most influence in the creation of our contemporary world, scarce philosophical activity about chemistry has been done and only recently have appeared two international journals on the topic: HYLE and Foundations of Chemistry.  In both of them the Latin American presence is still incipient.
  • For these reasons, scientists of various nationalities, including Colombians, have decided to promote the philosophical discussion in Chemistry.  
  • Accordingly, we have considered important and convenient to organise in Colombia a symposium on the topic, in which worldwide leaders on the Philosophy of Chemistry show the recent advances in the area, the most recent discussions and the frontier themes to be studied in the future.
  • It is a pleasure to announce the participation of two of the leaders in the field of Philosophy of Chemistry: Joachim Schummer and Eric Scerri, editors of HYLE and Foundations of Chemistry, respectively.
Chair persons:
José L. Villaveces, Vicerrector de investigaciones, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
Guillermo Restrepo, Laboratorio de química teórica, Universidad de Pamplona, Pamplona, Colombia

Tuesday 21st July
9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Welcome and inauguration, by

  • Wolfram Baumann, Head of the Chemistry Department, Universidad de los Andes
  • José L. Villaveces, Vicerrector for Research, Universidad de los Andes
10:00a.m.-10:15a.m.  Coffee break
Inaugural session, Joachim Schummer, chair
 10:15a.m.-11:15a.m. Eric Scerri
Recent work on the concept of 'element'
 11:15a.m.-11:45a.m. Eugenio J. Llanos
Thermodynamics, irrreversible and isochemical processses
 11:45a.m.-3:00p.m. Lunch
General session, Andrés Bernal, chair
 3:00p.m.-3:30p.m. José L. Villaveces
Philosophical implications of the idea of structure.  From symmetry to ontogenesis
 3:30p.m.-4:00p.m. Edgar Vargas
Origins of natural alchemist philosophy

Wednesday 22nd July
General session, Eric Scerri, chair
General session, Guillermo Restrepo, chair
 10:45a.m.-11:15a.m. Andrés Bernal
Internality and selectivity in the chemical concept of relation
 11:15a.m.-11:45a.m. Wilmer O. Leal
Binary compounds, a network theory approach
11:45a.m.-3:00p.m. Lunch
Panel discussion, José L. Villaveces, chair
 3:00p.m.-4:30p.m. Topic: Why philosophy of chemistry?

Thursday 23rd July
Panel discussion, Eugenio J. Llanos, chair
 9:00a.m.-10:30a.m. Topic: Trends in philosophy of chemistry
 10:30a.m.-10:45a.m. Coffee break
 10:45a.m.-12:00m. Concluding remarks

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