Rethinking unity as a "working hypothesis" for philosophy: How archaeologists exploit the disunities of science
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Perspectives on Science 7 (3):293-317 (1999)
: As a working hypothesis for philosophy of science, the unity of science thesis has been decisively challenged in all its standard formulations; it cannot be assumed that the sciences presuppose an orderly world, that they are united by the goal of systematically describing and explaining this order, or that they rely on distinctively scientific methodologies which, properly applied, produce domain-specific results that converge on a single coherent and comprehensive system of knowledge. I first delineate the scope of arguments against global unity theses. However implausible old-style global unity theses may now seem, I argue that unifying strategies of a more local and contingent nature do play an important role in scientific inquiry. This is particularly clear in archaeology where, to establish evidential claims of any kind, practitioners must exploit a range of inter-field and inter-theory connections. At the same time, the robustness of these evidential claims depends on significant disunity between the sciences from which archaeologists draw background assumptions and auxiliary hypotheses. This juxtaposition of unity with disunity poses a challenge to standard (polarized) positions in the debate about scientific unity
|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
Steve Clarke & Adrian Walsh (2009). Scientific Imperialism and the Proper Relations Between the Sciences. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):195-207.
Raoul Gervais (2013). Non-Cognitive Values and Objectivity in Scientific Explanation: Egalitarianism and the Case of the Movius Line. Perspectives on Science 21 (4):429-452.
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.
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.
Similar books and articles
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.
Josh Weisberg (2001). The Appearance of Unity: A Higher-Order Interpretation of the Unity of Consciousness. Proceedings of the Twenty-Third Annual Conference of The Cognitive Science Society.
David Davies (1996). Explanatory Disunities and the Unity of Science. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 10 (1):5 – 21.
Margaret Morrison (1994). Unified Theories and Disparate Things. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:365 - 373.
Herbert Feigl (ed.) (1958). Concepts, Theories, And The Mind-Body Problem. University of Minnesota Press.
Angela Potochnik (2011). A Neurathian Conception of the Unity of Science. Erkenntnis 74 (3):305-319.
Martin Carrier (1990). The Unity of Science. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 4 (1):17-31.
Andreas Hüttemann (1998). Scientific Practice and the Disunity of Physics. Philosophia Naturalis 35 (1):209-222.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads35 ( #60,410 of 1,693,218 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #40,870 of 1,693,218 )
How can I increase my downloads?