David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 71 (2):133-155 (2004)
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. Fields are theoretically unified to the extent that we understand how the ontologies, concepts, and generalizations of these fields are connected. (Reductionism is one form of theoretical unity, but not the only form). Fields are practically unified through heuristic connections (e.g., using the heuristics of one field to generate hypotheses in another field) and by the development of methods for integrating the qualitatively distinct bodies of data generated by the two fields. I discuss the relationship between paleontological and neontological systematics to illustrate the utility of conceptualizing unity as interconnection.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Maureen A. O'Malley & Orkun S. Soyer (2012). The Roles of Integration in Molecular Systems Biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):58-68.
Ingo Brigandt (2010). Beyond Reduction and Pluralism: Toward an Epistemology of Explanatory Integration in Biology. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 73 (3):295-311.
Anya Plutynski (2013). Cancer and the Goals of Integration. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C (4):466-476.
Maureen A. O’Malley (2013). When Integration Fails: Prokaryote Phylogeny and the Tree of Life. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):551-562.
Elihu M. Gerson (2013). Integration of Specialties: An Institutional and Organizational View. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):515-524.
Similar books and articles
Chuang Liu (2003). Gauge Gravity and the Unification of Natural Forces. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):143 – 159.
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
Angela Potochnik (2011). A Neurathian Conception of the Unity of Science. Erkenntnis 74 (3):305-319.
Martin Carrier & Jürgen Mittelstrass (1990). The Unity of Science. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 4 (1):17-31.
Margaret Morrison (1994). Unified Theories and Disparate Things. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:365 - 373.
Joyce Kinoshita (1988). One Epistemological Interfield Relation. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:48 - 54.
Tim Bayne (2010). The Unity of Consciousness. Oxford ;Oxford University Press.
Henry Frankel (1980). Problem-Solving, Research Traditions, and the Development of Scientific Fields. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:29 - 40.
Lindley Darden & Nancy Maull (1977). Interfield Theories. Philosophy of Science 44 (1):43-64.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads64 ( #51,632 of 1,725,611 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #110,407 of 1,725,611 )
How can I increase my downloads?