Die Rationalität der Chemie
Despite the very important role of chemistry in technology, civilisation and shaping our view of the world it has been neglected by philosophy and the humanities. For several reasons, it cannot be regarded as an appendix to physics and treated as such in the theory of science. Several features of chemistry call for and allow a philosophical clarification. These include its way of forming concepts; its theoretical approaches; the characteristic constitution of its objects of study compared With the other sciences and the independence of its knowledge goals.
If chemistry is understood as a ‘cultural achievement’, i.e. as a product of rational goal-oriented activity within its particular historical conditions, then its rationality can be defined as a particular type of science of bringing under control purposeful changes in substances relative to the historical development of technical and cognitive goals. The type of science obtained in this way is a causal science of transformation and production which for its part is preceded methodically by a description and an understanding of the processes of substance transformations in nature.