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The value of completeness: How Mendeleev used his periodic system to make predictions
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4976-8216
2019 (English)In: Philosophy of science (East Lansing), ISSN 0031-8248, E-ISSN 1539-767X, Vol. 86, no 5, p. 1318-1329Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Dmitrii Mendeleev's periodic system is known for its predictive accuracy, but talk of its completeness is rarer. This is surprising because completeness (polnost') was a quality that Mendeleev saw as important for a systematization of the chemical elements. Here, I explain how Mendeleev's valuing of completeness influenced the development of his periodic system. After introducing five indicators of its completeness, I zoom into one in particular: Mendeleev's inclusion of a schematic row of oxides. I then show how it guided Mendeleev's predictions of indium and ekaboron, which suggests that the valuing of completeness was instrumental for making predictions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
UNIV CHICAGO PRESS , 2019. Vol. 86, no 5, p. 1318-1329
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Philosophy
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-266391DOI: 10.1086/705521ISI: 000502315900044Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85076474033OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-266391DiVA, id: diva2:1421441
Note

QC 20200402

Available from: 2020-04-02 Created: 2020-04-02 Last updated: 2020-04-02Bibliographically approved

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Pulkkinen, Karoliina

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