Vol. 2 No. 1 (2018)

Why Chemists Need Philosophy, History, and Ethics

Joachim Schummer
Editor-in-chief of HYLE: International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry

Published 2018-03-26

How to Cite

Schummer, J. (2018). Why Chemists Need Philosophy, History, and Ethics. Substantia, 2(1), 5–6. https://doi.org/10.13128/Substantia-36


Since many years national and international science organizations have recommended the inclusion of philosophy, history, and ethics courses in science curricula at universities. Chemists may rightly ask: What is that good for? Don’t primary and secondary school provide enough general education such that universities can focus on chemistry alone? Is that only a conservative call back to an antiquated form of higher education? Or do they want us to learn some “soft skills” that can at best improve our eloquence at the dinner table but is entirely useless in our chemical work? The answers depend on what you understand by chemistry, philosophy, history, and ethics.