Vanessa A. Seifert
Philosophy of Chemistry// Philosophy of Science
I explore questions in metaphysics, philosophy of science, and metaphilosophy, with a special focus on chemistry and physics.
Some of these questions are:
- How are the natural science related to each other?
- Are special science entities real?
- How do models and idealisations influence our understanding of entities posited by science?
Apart from my research, I enjoy communicating philosophical ideas to non- specialist audiences. In this context, I am the writer of the bi-monthly column "Thought Experiments" in Chemistry World magazine, as well as co-editor and writer in Jargonium. You can check out all these activities here.
Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher with the NoMoS project, as well as teaching fellow at the University Athens. Previously, I worked as a postdoctoral research associate with the Metaphysical Unity of Science project at the University of Bristol.
I completed my PhD at the University of Bristol under the supervision of James Ladyman. In my doctoral thesis, I investigated the relations between chemistry and quantum mechanics. Specifically;
I argued that chemistry and quantum mechanics are unified in accordance with Harold Kincaid’s model of non-reductive unity because they exhibit particular epistemic and metaphysical interconnections.
I critically analysed metaphysical positions that are incompatible with Kincaid's model of unity; namely strong emergence.
I argued that one can understand the nature of molecular structure in novel and interesting ways, by taking into account the idealisations in the quantum mechanical description of molecular structure.
My undergraduate studies were in Chemical Engineering (NTUA) and I hold an MSc in Philosophy of Science (LSE).