Single Idea 12450

[catalogued under 27. Natural Reality / F. Chemistry / 3. Periodic Table]

Full Idea

The periodic table not only governs what elements there can be, with their properties, but also explicitly excludes others sorts of elements, because the elements are individuated by the number of discrete protons in their nuclei.

Gist of Idea

The periodic table not only defines the elements, but also excludes other possible elements


Jody Azzouni (Deflating Existential Consequence [2004], Ch.7)

Book Reference

Azzouni,Jody: 'Deflating Existential Consequence' [OUP 2004], p.150

A Reaction

It has to be central to the thesis of scientific essentialism that the possibilities in nature are far more restricted than is normally thought, and this observation illustrates the view nicely. He makes a similar point about subatomic particles.