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Dr Vanessa Seifert


Vanessa Seifert is a post doctoral research associate with the Metahysical Unity of Science project. Her primary research interests are in the philosophy of chemistry, with particular focus on how chemistry can inform different metaphysical and epistemological issues in science.

In her doctoral research, she focused on the epistemological and metaphysical relations between chemistry and quantum mechanics. In order to understand them, she examined how chemistry and quantum mechanics each describe a single inert molecule. She argued for a novel unificatory understanding of the relation between chemistry and quantum mechanics, which is supported by particular criteria that are satisfied by the two theories. She is currently interested in the role of idealisations in chemistry and in quantum mechanics, in the debate regarding reduction and emergence, as well as in the reality of higher level properties. 

Vanessa Seifert did her undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens. She obtained an MSc in Philosophy of Science at the LSE. In 2019, she completed her PhD at the University of Bristol, under the supervision of James Ladyman. 

Research questions:

- The nature and reality of the chemical bond

- The relation of chemistry with quantum mechanics, in light of the two theories' description of molecular structure. 

- Reduction vs strong emergence in chemistry 

- The role of idealisations in understanding intertheory relations and the nature of higher-level properties. 




Department of Philosophy

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