Conceptualizing the (dis)unity of science

Philosophy of Science 71 (2):133-155 (2004)
Abstract
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)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,365
External links
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.
Anya Plutynski (2013). Cancer and the Goals of Integration. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C (4):466-476.
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.

View all 7 citations

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

47 ( #29,511 of 1,089,100 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #20,105 of 1,089,100 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.