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Summary Unity of science is, most basically, the idea that all fields of science are in some way united.  The most well-known thesis of the unity of science is that all fields of science will ultimately be reduced to fundamental physics, thereby demonstrating the basis for all scientific laws in the universal laws of physics.  This extreme form of reductionism was prominent in philosophy of science in the mid-twentieth century.  In response, a number of philosophers have since advocated for the disunity of science.  Very different views of the unity of science have also been put forward; these focus instead on the sciences' shared methods, shared language, or shared aims.  A notable example is the Vienna Circle's programmatic unity of science movement.  
Key works A classic formulation of reductive unity of science is Oppenheim & Putnam 1958Fodor 1974 formulates an influential alternative view of the disunity of science based on multiple realization.  Disunity of science is also advocated by Dupré 1993Rosenberg 1994, and Cartwright 1999. Alternative formulations of unity of science include Darden & Maull 1977 and Grantham 2004.  See Morris 1966 and Symons et al 2011 on the logical empiricists', and especially Otto Neurath's, unity of science movement.  
Introductions See Cat 2013 for an overview of the history of the unity of science issue and an overview of the variety of unities that have been posited.  
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  1. R. Lanier Anderson (2005). Nietzsche's Will to Power as a Doctrine of the Unity of Science. Angelaki 10 (1):77 – 93.
    (2005). Nietzsche's will to Power as a Doctrine of the Unity of Science. Angelaki: Vol. 10, continental philosophy and the sciences the german traditionissue editor: damian veal, pp. 77-93.
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  2. Daniel Andler (2011). Unity Without Myths. In John Symons, Juan Manuel Torres & Olga Plomb (eds.), New approaches to the Unity of Science, vol. 1: Otto Neurath and the Unity of Science. Springer.
    We seem to suffer from a case of cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, we seem to have almost unanimously rejected as hopeless or incoherent the aim of a unified science. On the other, we passionately debate about the prospects of research programs which, if successful, would considerably enhance the prospects of unification: from particle physics to cognitive neuroscience, from evolutionary theory to logical modeling or dynamic systems, a common motivation seems to be the quest for unity1. The purpose of (...)
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  3. Daniel Andler (2006). Federalism in Science — Complementarity Vs Perspectivism: Reply to Harré. Synthese 151 (3):519 - 522.
  4. J. E. Bachrach (1987). Book Reviews : Culture and Cultural Entities: Toward a New Unity of Science . By Joseph Margolis. Synthese Library, Vol. 170. Dordrecht/Boston/Lancaster: D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1984. Pp. 170. $34.95. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 17 (4):586-591.
  5. John D. Barrow (2007). New Theories of Everything: The Quest for Ultimate Explanation. Oxford University Press.
    Will we ever discover a single scientific theory that explains everything that has ever happened and everything that will happen - a key that unlocks the ...
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  6. Michael Baur (2003). Newman on the Problem of the Partiality and Unity of the Sciences. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 77:111-127.
    This paper focuses on Newman’s approach to what we might call “the problem of the partiality and unity of the sciences.” The problem can be expressedin the form of a question: “If all human knowing is finite and partial, then on what grounds can one know of the unity and wholeness of all the sciences?” Newman’s solution to the problem is openly theistic, since it appeals to one’s knowledge of God. For Newman, even if I exclusively pursue my own partial (...)
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  7. William P. Bechtel & Andrew Hamilton (2007). Reduction, Integration, and the Unity of Science: Natural, Behavioral, and Social Sciences and the Humanities. In T. Kuipers (ed.), Philosophy of Science: Focal Issues (Volume 1 of the Handbook of the Philosophy of Science). Elsevier.
    1. A Historical Look at Unity 2. Field Guide to Modern Concepts of Reduction and Unity 3. Kitcher's Revisionist Account of Unification 4. Critics of Unity 5. Integration Instead of Unity 6. Reduction via Mechanisms 7. Case Studies in Reduction and Unification across the Disciplines.
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  8. Richard J. Blackwell (1978). "Unity of Science," by Robert L. Causey. The Modern Schoolman 55 (4):419-420.
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  9. David Boersema (2004). Metaphysics, Mind, and the Unity of Science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):627-628.
    Ross & Spurrett's (R&S's) rebuttal of recent reductionistic work in the philosophy of mind relies on claims about the unity of science and explanation. I call those claims into question.
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  10. Michael Bradie (2000). Individualism and the Unity of Science, Harold Kincaid. Rowman & Littlefield, 1997, VII + 165 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 16 (1):147-174.
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  11. Mario Augusto Bunge (ed.) (1973). The Methodological Unity of Science. Boston,Reidel.
    ... presented as "the'tirst ph'uosopher who attempte'd to be both exact and in tune with the science of his day. Certain rules of philosophical method are ...
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  12. Richard M. Burian (1975). Conceptual Change, Cross-Theoretical Explanation, and the Unity of Science. Synthese 32 (1-2):1 - 28.
  13. Lee Byrne (1940). An Educational Application of Resources of the Unity of Science Movement. Philosophy of Science 7 (2):241-262.
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  14. Rudolf Carnap (1934). The Unity of Science. London, K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd..
    As a leading member of the Vienna Circle, Rudolph Carnap's aim was to bring about a "unified science" by applying a method of logical analysis to the empirical data of all the sciences. This work, first published in English in 1934, endeavors to work out a way in which the observation statements required for verification are not private to the observer. The work shows the strong influence of Wittgenstein, Russell, and Frege.
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  15. Martin Carrier & Jürgen Mittelstrass (1990). The Unity of Science. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 4 (1):17-31.
    Abstract The paper addresses the question of how the unity of science can adequately be characterized. A mere classification of scientific fields and disciplines does not express the unity of science unless it is supplemented with a perspective that establishes a systematic coherence among the different branches of science. Four ideas of this kind are discussed. Namely, the unity of scientific language, of scientific laws, of scientific method and of science as a practical?operational enterprise. Whereas reference to the unity of (...)
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  16. Nancy Cartwright (1999). The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science. Cambridge University Press.
    It is often supposed that the spectacular successes of our modern mathematical sciences support a lofty vision of a world completely ordered by one single elegant theory. In this book Nancy Cartwright argues to the contrary. When we draw our image of the world from the way modern science works - as empiricism teaches us we should - we end up with a world where some features are precisely ordered, others are given to rough regularity and still others behave in (...)
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  17. Jordi Cat, The Unity of Science. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  18. Carl F. Craver (2005). Beyond Reduction: Mechanisms, Multifield Integration and the Unity of Neuroscience. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):373-395.
  19. Antonio R. Damasio (ed.) (2001). Unity of Knowledge: The Convergence of Natural and Human Science. New York Academy of Sciences.
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  20. Lindley Darden & Nancy Maull (1977). Interfield Theories. Philosophy of Science 44 (1):43-64.
    This paper analyzes the generation and function of hitherto ignored or misrepresented interfield theories , theories which bridge two fields of science. Interfield theories are likely to be generated when two fields share an interest in explaining different aspects of the same phenomenon and when background knowledge already exists relating the two fields. The interfield theory functions to provide a solution to a characteristic type of theoretical problem: how are the relations between fields to be explained? In solving this problem (...)
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  21. David Davies (1996). Explanatory Disunities and the Unity of Science. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 10 (1):5 – 21.
    Abstract According to John Dupré, the metaphysics underpinning modern science posits a deterministic, fully law?governed and potentially fully intelligible structure that pervades the entire universe. To reject such a metaphysical framework for science is to subscribe to ?the disorder of things?, and the latter, according to Dupré, entails the impossibility of a unified science. Dupré's argument rests crucially upon purported disunities evident in the explanatory practices of science. I critically examine the implied project of drawing metaphysical conclusions from epistemological premisses (...)
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  22. Rickard Donovan (1990). Science Without Unity. International Philosophical Quarterly 30 (1):122-125.
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  23. J. Dupre (1994). Against Scientific Imperialism. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:374 - 381.
    Most discussion of the unity of science has concerned what might be called vertical relations between theories: the reducibility of biology to chemistry, or chemistry to physics, and so on. In this paper I shall be concerned rather with horizontal relations, that is to say, with theories of different kinds that deal with objects at the same structural level. Whereas the former, vertical, conception of unity through reduction has come under a good deal of criticism recently (see, e.g., Dupré 1993), (...)
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  24. M. M. E. (1978). Unity of Science. Review of Metaphysics 31 (4):666-667.
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  25. Claus Emmeche (2001). Biology and the Unity of Science. SATS 2 (1):153-162.
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  26. Michael T. Ferejohn (1980). Aristotle on Focal Meaning and the Unity of Science. Phronesis 25 (2):117 - 128.
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  27. Michael T. Ferejohn (1980). Aristotle on Focal Meaning and the Unity of Science. Phronesis 25 (1):117-128.
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  28. Lewis S. Feuer (1949). Mechanism, Physicalism, and the Unity of Science. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 9 (June):627-643.
  29. J. A. Fodor (1974). Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis). Synthese 28 (2):97-115.
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  30. Jerry A. Fodor (1974). Special Sciences. Synthese 28 (2):97-115.
  31. Philipp Frank (1947). The Institute for the Unity of Science. Synthese 6 (3-4):160 - 167.
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  32. William R. Frazer (1955). Some Indications of Unity Among the Sciences. Philosophy of Science 22 (2):135-139.
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  33. Horace S. Fries (1942). On the Unity and Ethical Neutrality of Science. Journal of Philosophy 39 (9):225-234.
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  34. Greg Frost-Arnold (2005). The Large-Scale Structure of Logical Empiricism: Unity of Science and the Elimination of Metaphysics. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):826-838.
    Two central and well-known philosophical goals of the logical empiricists are the unification of science and the elimination of metaphysics. I argue, via textual analysis, that these two apparently distinct planks of the logical empiricist party platform are actually intimately related. From the 1920’s through 1950, one abiding criterion for judging whether an apparently declarative assertion or descriptive term is metaphysical is that that assertion or term cannot be incorporated into a language of unified science. I explore various versions of (...)
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  35. Peter Galison & David J. Stump (eds.) (1996). The Disunity of Science: Boundaries, Contexts, and Power. Stanford University Press.
    Is science unified or disunified? This collection brings together contributions from prominent scholars in a variety of scientific disciplines to examine this important theoretical question. They examine whether the sciences are, or ever were, unified by a single theoretical view of nature or a methodological foundation and the implications this has for the relationship between scientific disciplines and between science and society.
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  36. Todd A. Grantham (2004). Conceptualizing the (Dis)Unity of Science. Philosophy of Science 71 (2):133-155.
    This paper argues that conceptualizing unity as "interconnection" (rather than reduction) provides a more fruitful and versatile framework for the philosophical study of scientific unification. Building on the work of Darden and Maull, Kitcher, and Kincaid, I treat unity as a relationship between fields: two fields become more integrated as the number and/or significance of interfield connections grow. Even when reduction fails, two theories or fields can be unified (integrated) in significant ways. I highlight two largely independent dimensions of unification. (...)
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  37. Ian Hacking (1996). The Disunities of the Sciences. In Peter Galison & David Stump (eds.). Stanford University Press--74.
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  38. Hinne Hettema (2013). Olga Pombo, Juan Manuel Torres, John Symons, and Shadid Rahman, Eds. , Special Sciences and the Unity of Science . Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 33 (4):315-317.
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  39. Hinne Hettema (2012). The Unity of Chemistry and Physics: Absolute Reaction Rate Theory. Hyle 18 (2):145 - 173.
    Henry Eyring's absolute rate theory explains the size of chemical reaction rate constants in terms of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and quantum chemistry. In addition it uses a number of unique concepts such as the 'transition state'. A key feature of the theory is that the explanation it provides relies on the comparison of reaction rate constant expressions derived from these individual theories. In this paper, the example is used to develop a naturalized notion of reduction and the unity of science. (...)
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  40. Andreas Hüttemann (1998). Scientific Practice and the Disunity of Physics. Philosophia Naturalis 35 (1):209-222.
    It is my aim in this paper to look at some of the arguments that are brought forward for or against certain claims to unity/disunity (in particular to examine those arguments from science and from scientific practice) in order to evaluate whether they really show what they claim to. This presupposes that the concept or rather the concepts of the unity of physics are reasonably clear. Three concepts of unity can be identified: (1) ontological unity, which refers to the objects (...)
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  41. Torres Juan, Pombo Olga, Symons John & Rahman Shahid (eds.) (2012). Special Sciences and the Unity of Science. Springer.
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  42. Jørgen Jøgensen (1976). Empiricism and the Unity of Science. Erkenntnis 8 (1):411-417.
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  43. Horace Meyer Kallen (1946). The Significance of the Unity of Science Movement: Reply. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 6 (4):515-526.
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  44. B. M. Kedrov (1968). Marx and the Unity of Science - Natural and Social. Russian Studies in Philosophy 7 (2):3-14.
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  45. Harold Kincaid (1990). Molecular Biology and the Unity of Science. Philosophy of Science 57 (4):575-593.
    Advances in molecular biology have generally been taken to support the claim that biology is reducible to chemistry. I argue against that claim by looking in detail at a number of central results from molecular biology and showing that none of them supports reduction because (1) their basic predicates have multiple realizations, (2) their chemical realization is context-sensitive and (3) their explanations often presuppose biological facts rather than eliminate them. I then consider the heuristic and confirmational implications of irreducibility and (...)
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  46. James G. Lennox (2001). Aristotle on the Unity and Disunity of Science. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 15 (2):133 – 144.
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  47. Sabina Leonelli (2008). Bio-Ontologies as Tools for Integration in Biology. Biological Theory 3 (1):7-11.
  48. James H. Lesher (2001). Aristotle's Theory of the Unity of Science (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 39 (2):290-292.
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  49. Christoph Liegener & Giuseppe Rdele (1987). Chemistry Vs. Physics, the Reduction Myth, and the Unity of Science. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 18 (1-2):165-174.
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  50. Chuang Liu, Coordination of Space and Unity of Science.
    In this essay, I explore a metaphor in geometry for the debate between the unity and the disunity of science, namely, the possibility of putting a global coordinate system (or a chart) on a manifold. I explain why the former is a good metaphor that shows what it means (and takes in principle) for science to be unified. I then go through some of the existing literature on the unity/disunity debate and show how the metaphor sheds light on some of (...)
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