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Overview

Professor Robin Hendry

Professor/Acting Head of Department/Director of Research

BSc, PhD


Affiliations
AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Professor/Acting Head of Department/Director of Research in the Department of Philosophy +44 (0) 191 33 46548

Biography

I graduated with a BSc in Chemistry and the Philosophy of Science from King's College London and the LSE, in 1989. Foundational problems in quantum chemistry prompted me to sign up for a PhD in Philosophy at the LSE, though my thesis, when completed in late 1993, was entitled 'Realism, history and the quantum theory'. It mostly concerned Imre Lakatos' views on methodology, the historical development of quantum theory, and scientific realism. My first lectureship was at the University of Edinburgh (January-September 1994), after which I came to Durham in October 1994. Since then I have worked on scientific realism, modeling in the physical sciences, and the history and philosophy of chemistry and its relationship to physics.

My areas of research include: philosophical issues in chemistry such as the nature of chemical substances, molecular structure and the chemical bond; and general metaphysical issues in science such as unity and natural kinds. For a list of publications and works in progress see my personal research page.

Robin Hendry CV

Recent Grants and Awards
  • 2013-16: The Durham Emergence Project (John Templeton Foundation)
    Three-year interdisciplinary research initiative across philosophy of science, philosophy of mind and condensed matter physics, involving postdoctoral fellowships, PhD studentships, a research funding competition, two summer schools and a final conference. (Co-Investigators Professor E.J. Lowe, Professor T. McLeish). For further details see http://www.dur.ac.uk/emergence/.
  • 2014: (As co-investigator, PI Sophie Gibb) 'Emergence: Where is the Evidence?'
    Research Networking Scheme, Arts and Humanities Research Council.
  • 2012: 'Structure in Chemistry: A Preliminary Investigation'
    Exploratory Award, Arts and Humanities Research Council. For further details see http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/documents/case-studies/structure-in-chemistry-a-preliminary-investigation.
  • 2009: Fellowship under the theme of 'Water'
    Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University
  • 2005: 'The Metaphysics of Chemistry'
    Research Leave Scheme, Arts & Humanities Research Council
  • 2003-4: 'The Metaphysics of Chemistry'
    Research Fellowship, Leverhulme Trust
Works in Progress
  • With my Durham colleagues Sophie Gibb and Tom Lancaster I am currently editing a Handbook of Emergence for Routledge. For a number of years I have also been completing a monograph entitled The Metaphysics of Chemistry.
  • Books apart, my research covers all aspects of the history and philosophy of chemistry and its relationship to physics. I am currently writing papers on the historical development of theories of structure in chemistry, and on whether molecular structure can be considered to be emergent.
Research Interests
  • History and philosophy of chemistry and its relationship to physics
  • The relationship between history and philosophy of science
Research supervision
  • I have supervised a range of PhD research projects in the philosophy of science and epistemology. I would especially welcome enquiries from students wishing to pursue postgraduate research on foundational and historical topics in chemistry and other physical sciences.
Postgraduate teaching
  • Philosophical Issues in Science and Medicine
Undergraduate teaching modules
Administrative duties
  • Director of Research in the Department of Philosophy

Research interests

  • History and philosophy of chemistry and its relationship to physics
  • The relationship between history and philosophy of science

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Science: Education, industry & the community: scientific methods & objectivity
  • Science: Education, industry & the community: experimentation

Publications

Chapter in book

  • Hendry, Robin Findlay (2020). Trusting Atoms. In Atomism in Philosophy: A History from Antiquity to the Present. Zilioli, Ugo Bloomsbury. 470-488.
  • Hendry, R.F. & Needham, P (2018). Aspects of the concept of potentiality in chemistry. In Handbook of Potentiality. Engelhard, K & Quante, M Berlin: Springer.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2017). Prospects for strong emergence in chemistry. In Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Downward Causation. Francesco Orilia, F. & Paoletti, M.P. New York: Routledge. 146-163.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2017). Mechanisms and reduction in organic chemistry. In EPSA15 Selected Papers: The 5th conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association in Düsseldorf. European Studies in Philosophy of Science, volume 5. Massimi, M., Romeijn, J.W. & Schurz, G. Cham: Springer. 111-124.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2015). Are chemical kinds natural kinds? In Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science: EPSA13 Helsinki. Maki, U Votsis, I, Ruphy, S & Schurz, G Springer International Publishing. 1: 251-261.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2013). Kinetics, models and mechanism. In Models, Simulations, and the Reduction of Complexity. Gähde, U, Hartmann, S & Henning Wolf, J Berlin: De Gruyter. 221-227.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2013). Chemistry. In Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Curd, M & Psillos, S London: Routledge. 586-596.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2013). Three metaphysical issues in chemistry. In Philosophy of Chemistry: Practices, Methodologies, and Concepts. Llored, J-P Cambridge Scholars’ Press. 522-539.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2011). Philosophy of chemistry. In The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science. French, S & Saatsi, J Bloomsbury Academic. 293-313.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2011). Reduction, Emergence and Physicalism. In Philosophy of Chemistry (Volume 6). Hendry, R.F., Needham, P & Woody, A Elsevier.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2011). Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794). In Philosophy of Chemistry (Volume 6). Hendry, R.F., Needham, P, Woody, A eBook ISBN: 9780080930763 Hardcover ISBN: 9780444516756 Imprint: North Holland & Published Date: 1st November 2011 Elsevier.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2011). ¿Hay causación descendente en química? In Filosofía de la química. Síntesis de una nueva disciplina. Baird, D, Scerri, E & McIntyre, L FONDO DE CULTURA ECONÓMICA (FCE).
  • Hendry, R.F. (2011). Elements. In Philosophy of Chemistry (Volume 6). Hendry, R.F., Needham, P & Woody, A Elsevier.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2011). Charles Coulson (1910-1974). In Philosophy of Chemistry (Volume 6). Hendry, R.F., Needham, P & Woody, A Elsevier.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2011). Chemical Bond. In Philosophy of Chemistry (Volume 6). Hendry, R.F., Needham, P & Woody, A Elsevier.
  • Hendry, R.F. Weisberg, M & Needham, P (2011). Philosophy of Chemistry. In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Zalta, E.N. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2011). Linus Pauling (1901-1994). In Philosophy of Chemistry (Volume 6). Hendry, R.F., Needham, P & Woody, A Elsevier.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2010). The chemical bond: structure, energy and explanation. In EPSA Philosophical Issues in the Sciences. Dorato, M, Rèdei, M Suarez, M & (eds.) EPSA Philosophical Issues in the Sciences: Launch of the European Philosophy of Science Association (Berlin: Springer, 2010), 117-27 Springer Netherlands. 117-127.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2010). Chemistry: emergence vs. reduction. In Emergence in Mind. Macdonald, C & Macdonald, G Oxford University Press.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2010). 'The elements and conceptual change'. In The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. Beebee, H & Sabbarton-Leary, N New York Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 137-158.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2008). Microstructuralism: Problems and Prospects. In Stuff: The Nature of Chemical Substances. Ruthenberg, K & Brakel, JV Königshausen und von Neumann.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2008). Chemistry. In The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Psillos, S & Curd, M Routledge.
  • Hendry, R.F. & Psillos, S (2007). How to do things with theories: an interactive view of language and models in science. In The Courage of Doing Philosophy. Brzeziński, J, Klawiter, A, Kuipers, T.A.F., Łastowski, K, Paprzycka, K & Przybysz, P Rodopi.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2006). ‘Is there downward causation in chemistry?’. In Philosophy of Chemistry: Synthesis of a New Discipline. Davis Baird, Eric Scerri & Lee McIntyre Berlin: Springer. 242: 173-189.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2003). Filosofia della chimica. In Filosofie delle Scienze. Vassallo, N Einaudi.
  • Hendry, R.F. (2001). Mathematics, Representation and Molecular Structure. In Tools and Modes of Representation in the Laboratory Sciences. Klein, U Springer.
  • Hendry, R.F. (1999). Theories and models: the interactive view. In Visual representations and interpretations. London: Springer-Verlag. 121-130.
  • Hendry, R.F. (1998). Models and approximations in quantum chemistry. In Idealization in contemporary physics: Poznan studies in the philosophy of the sciences and the humanities. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 63 123-142.
  • Hendry, R.F. (1995). Realism and progress: why scientists should be realists. In Philosophy and technology: Royal Institute of Philosophy supplement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 38 53-72.

Conference Proceeding

  • Rojszczak, A, Cachro, J & Kurczewski, G (2003). Chemistry and the completeness of physics. 11th International Congress of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, Kraków, Springer.

Edited book

  • Hendry, R.F., Needham, P & Woody, A (2011). Philosophy of Chemistry (Volume 6). Handbook of the Philosophy of Science.

Journal Article

Supervision students