This book attempts to present chemistry in a manner that
is sensible to the novice. Chemistry is not the result of an inspired
vision. It is the product of countless observations and
many attempts, using logic and trial and error, to account for
these observations. In this book the concepts are developed in
a natural way: The observations come first and then models are
constructed to explain the observed behavior.
Models are a major focus in this book. The uses and limitations
of models are emphasized, and science is treated as a
human activity, subject to all the normal human foibles. Mistakes
are discussed as well as successes.
A central theme of this book is a thoughtful, systematic
approach to problem solving. Learning encompasses much
more than simply memorizing facts. Truly educated people use
their factual knowledge as a starting point—a base for creative
approaches to solving problems.