Unification, explanation and explaining unity: The fisher–wright controversy

I argued that the frameworks and mechanisms that produce unification do not enable us to explain why the unified phenomena behave as they do. That is, we need to look beyond the unifying process for an explanation of these phenomena. Anya Plutynski ([2005]) has called into question my claim about the relationship between unification and explanation as well as my characterization of it in the context of the early synthesis of Mendelism with Darwinian natural selection. In this paper I argue that her methodological criticisms rest on a misinterpretation of my views on explanation and defend my historical interpretation of the work of Fisher and Wright. A statement of the problem Methodological differences: how to characterize explanation Historical matters: disagreements about details Explanation revisited: the possible versus the ‘merely actual’.
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axi149
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