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College Chemistry: how a textbook can reveal the values embedded in chemistry

Authors
Journal
Endeavour
0160-9327
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
31
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.endeavour.2007.10.004
Disciplines
  • Chemistry
  • Philosophy

Abstract

This paper explores the norms, values and ethical attitudes that Linus Pauling wanted to convey to his students in his famous textbook College Chemistry. In this classic textbook, Pauling aimed to introduce beginners into the world of chemistry by presenting chemistry as a systematic science based on a collection of empirical data and a recent theoretical framework. In doing so, he expressed his epistemic and didactic choices clearly. College Chemistry therefore offers an ideal opportunity to examine some of the norms at the core of chemistry's ‘moral economy’.

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