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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. added 2019-12-06
    On the Problem of a Unified Physical Theory of Matter.E. Kolman - 1935 - Philosophy of Science 2 (4):400-412.
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  2. added 2019-11-25
    Reinforcing the Three ‘R's: Reduction, Reception, and Replacement.Ronald P. Endicott - 2007 - In M. Schouten & H. Looren de Jong (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience, and Reduction. Blackwell.
    Philosophers of science have offered different accounts of what it means for one scientific theory to reduce to another. I propose a more or less friendly amendment to Kenneth Schaffner’s “General Reduction-Replacement” model of scientific unification. Schaffner interprets scientific unification broadly in terms of a continuum from theory reduction to theory replacement. As such, his account leaves no place on its continuum for type irreducible and irreplaceable theories. The same is true for other accounts that incorporate Schaffner's continuum, for example, (...)
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  3. added 2019-11-25
    Collapse of the New Wave.Ronald P. Endicott - 1998 - Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):53-72.
    I critically evaluate the influential new wave account of theory reduction in science developed by Paul Churchland and Clifford Hooker. First, I cast doubt on claims that the new wave account enjoys a number of theoretical virtues over its competitors, such as the ability to represent how false theories are reduced by true theories. Second, I argue that the genuinely novel claim that a corrected theory must be specified entirely by terms from the basic reducing theory is in fact too (...)
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  4. added 2019-10-12
    Intersectionality as a Regulative Ideal.Katherine Gasdaglis & Alex Madva - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    Appeals to intersectionality serve to remind us that social categories like race and gender cannot be adequately understood independently from each other. But what, exactly, is the intersectional thesis a thesis about? Answers to this question are remarkably diverse. Intersectionality is variously understood as a claim about the nature of social kinds, oppression, or experience ; about the limits of antidiscrimination law or identity politics ; or about the importance of fuzzy sets, multifactor analysis, or causal modeling in social science.
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  5. added 2019-09-12
    Einheit und Vielfalt in den Wissenschaften.Michael Klasen & Markus Seidel (eds.) - 2019 - Berlin: De Gruyter.
  6. added 2019-06-06
    The Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences: Real Patterns, Real Unity, Real Causes, but No Supervenience.Don Ross & David Spurrett - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):637-647.
    Our response amplifies our case for scientific realism and the unity of science and clarifies our commitments to scientific unity, nonreductionism, behaviorism, and our rejection of talk of “emergence.” We acknowledge support from commentators for our view of physics and, responding to pressure and suggestions from commentators, deny the generality supervenience and explain what this involves. We close by reflecting on the relationship between philosophy and science.
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  7. added 2019-06-06
    Review of The Disunity of Science: Boundaries Contexts, and Power by Peter Galison and David J. Stump. [REVIEW]Steve Clarke - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):506-507.
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  8. added 2019-06-06
    Disunity in Philosophy.Earl R. Humbert - 1993 - Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 12 (1/2):8-8.
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  9. added 2019-06-06
    Nietzsche's Will To Power As A Doctrine Of The Unity Of Science.R. Lanier Anderson - 1993 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (5):729-750.
  10. added 2019-06-06
    Unity of Science. [REVIEW]M. M. E. - 1978 - Review of Metaphysics 31 (4):666-667.
    The aim of this book is both to develop a logic of microreduction, primarily for dynamic theories, or theories that state and explain the attributes and behavior, rather than the evolutionary development, of the things in some domain and, also, to argue that a program of microreduction offers the best hope for the unification of science. After two initial chapters, developing the necessary logical tools and techniques, Causey gets to the central problem of microreduction. The fundamental idea is: a theory, (...)
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  11. added 2019-06-06
    The Problem of The Unity of Science: Bacon to Kant. By Robert McRae. University of Toronto Press, 1961. Pp. Xii, 148. $4.50. [REVIEW]Peter Remnant - 1962 - Dialogue 1 (1):97-98.
  12. added 2019-06-06
    Foundations of the Unity of Science. Volume II, No. 7: Fundamentals of Concept Formation in Empirical Science.International Encyclopedia of Unified Science, I and II. [REVIEW]J. J. C. Smart & Carl G. Hempel - 1953 - Philosophical Review 62 (3):473.
  13. added 2019-06-06
    Philosophy and the Unity of the Sciences.Jacques Maritain - 1953 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 27:34.
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  14. added 2019-06-06
    International Encyclopedia of Unified Science, Volumes I and II: Foundations of the Unity of Science.Volume I, Number 1: Encyclopedia and Unified Science.Volume I, Number 2: Foundations of the Theory of Signs.Volume I, Number 5: Procedures of Empirical Science. [REVIEW]E. N., Otto Neurath, Niels Bohr, John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, Rudolf Carnap, Charles W. Morris & Victor F. Lenzen - 1938 - Journal of Philosophy 35 (25):689.
  15. added 2019-06-06
    The Unity of Science.Rudolf Carnap & Max Black - 1934 - London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co..
    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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  16. added 2019-06-06
    Our Monism: The Principles of a Consistent, Unitary World-View.Ernst Haeckel - 1891 - The Monist 2 (4):481-486.
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  17. added 2019-03-19
    Scientific Understanding.E. Brian Davies - unknown
    Many of those actively involved in the physical sciences adopt a reductionist point of view, in which all aspects of the world are ultimately controlled by physical laws that are expressed in terms of mathematical equations. In this article we adopt a pluralistic approach to human understanding in which mathematically expressed laws of nature are merely one way among several of describing a world that is too vast and complex for our minds to be able to grasp in its entirety.
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  18. added 2019-03-19
    Reduction of Macrotheories to Micro-Theories.Zoltan Domotor - 1982 - Erkenntnis 17 (1):3 - 21.
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  19. added 2019-03-19
    Reduction and Ontological Unification: Reply to McCauley.Robert L. Causey - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (2):228-231.
  20. added 2019-03-19
    Identities and Reduction: A Reply.Robert L. Causey - 1976 - Noûs 10 (3):333-337.
  21. added 2019-03-18
    Charles T. Wolfe. Materialism: A Historico-Philosophical Introduction. Dordrecht: Springer, 2016. Pp. Ix+134. $54.99.Noga Arikha - 2017 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 7 (2):386-391.
  22. added 2019-03-18
    Interdisciplinary Success Without Integration.Till Grüne-Yanoff - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (3):343-360.
    Some scholars see interdisciplinarity as a special case of a broader unificationist program. They accept the unification of the sciences as a regulative ideal, and derive from this the normative justification of interdisciplinary research practices. The crucial link for this position is the notion of integration: integration increases the cohesion of concepts and practices, and more specifically of explanations, ontologies, methods and data. Interdisciplinary success then consists in the integration of fields or disciplines, and this constitutes success in the sense (...)
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  23. added 2019-03-18
    Peter Vickers: Understanding Inconsistent Science. [REVIEW]Bryson Brown - 2015 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (2):413-418.
  24. added 2019-03-18
    A Framework for Inter-Level Explanations: Outlines for a New Explanatory Pluralism.Raoul Gervais - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 48:1-9.
  25. added 2019-03-18
    I'd Love to Be a Naturalist—If Only I Knew What Naturalism Was.Lawrence Sklar - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):1121-1137.
  26. added 2019-03-18
    The Lure of the Simplistic.John Dupré - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S284-S293.
    This paper attacks the perennial philosophical and scientific quest for a simple and unified vision of the world. Without denying the attraction of this vision, I argue that such a goal often seriously distorts our understanding of complex phenomena. The argument is illustrated with reference to simplistic attempts to provide extremely general views of biology, and especially of human nature, through the theory of evolution. Although that theory is a fundamental ingredient of our scientific world view, it provides only one (...)
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  27. added 2019-03-18
    Steve Clarke, Metaphysics and the Disunity of Scientific Knowledge. [REVIEW]A. Chalmers - 1999 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):381.
  28. added 2019-03-18
    Metaphysics and the Disunity of Scientific Knowledge.Steve Clarke - 1998
    The central current of ideas in modern philosophy - through Hume, Kant and Hegel, to the present - can be understood as a reaction to the percieved threat of disorder. Against this background, the author argues for acceptance of a metaphysics of disorder, and outlines a number of important philosophical consequences of such an acceptance. When appropriately constrained by empiricist concern, such a metaphysics allows us to make sense of ourselves as as knowers who must make do in a world (...)
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  29. added 2019-03-18
    Unification and Coherence as Methodological Objectives in the Biological Sciences.Richard M. Burian - 1993 - Biology and Philosophy 8 (3):301-318.
    In this paper I respond to Wim van der Steen''s arguments against the supposed current overemphasis on norms ofcoherence andinterdisciplinary integration in biology. On the normative level, I argue that these aremiddle-range norms which, although they may be misapplied in short-term attempts to solve (temporarily?) intractable problems, play a guiding role in the longer-term treatment of biological problems. This stance is supported by a case study of apartial success story, the development of the one gene — one enzyme hypothesis. As (...)
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  30. added 2019-03-18
    Towards a Typology of Intertheoretical Relations.C. Ulises Moulines - 1992 - In Javier Echeverria, Andoni Ibarra & Thomas Mormann (eds.), The Space of Mathematics: Philosophical, Epistemological, and Historical Explorations. De Gruyter. pp. 403--411.
  31. added 2019-03-18
    Reconceptualizations and Interfield Connections: The Discovery of the Link Between Vitamins and Coenzymes.William Bechtel - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (2):265-292.
    The discovery that some B vitamins are constituents of respiratory coenzymes led to the development of an interfield theory of the kind discussed by Darden and Maull. In this paper it is shown that the development of a useful interfield connection was made possible by two reconceptualizations: a reconceptualization that united two then-distinct fields giving rise to the concept of vitamins as dietary substances; and another reconceptualization that united two approaches to respiratory metabolism producing the idea that coenzymes are transport (...)
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  32. added 2019-03-18
    The Integration of Science.Mikhail Grigor Evich Chepikov - 1978 - Progress Publishers.
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  33. added 2019-03-18
    Unity of Physical Laws and Levels of Description.Ilya Prigogine - 1971 - In Marjorie Glicksman Grene & I. Prigogine (eds.), Interpretations of Life and Mind. New York: Humanities Press.
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  34. added 2019-03-18
    Unified Science and Physicalistic Reductionism.W. H. Werkmeister - 1940 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 21 (3):277.
  35. added 2018-09-06
    Carnap on Unified Science.Ansten Klev - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:53-67.
    Unified science is a recurring theme in Carnap's work from the time of the Aufbau until the end of the 1930's. The theme is not constant, but knows several variations. I shall extract three quite precise formulations of the thesis of unified science from Carnap's work during this period: from the Aufbau, from Carnap's so-called syntactic period, and from "Testability and Meaning" and related papers. My main objective is to explain these formulations and to discuss their relation, both to each (...)
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  36. added 2017-03-17
    Review of The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science by John Dupre. [REVIEW]Mariam Thalos - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (2):351-353.
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  37. added 2017-01-29
    International Encyclopedia of Unified Science.Otto Neurath, Rudolph Carnap & Charles W. Morris - 1957 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 8 (31):256-257.
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  38. added 2017-01-28
    Rethinking Science a Philosophical Introduction to the Unity of Science.Jan Faye - 2002
  39. added 2017-01-28
    On the Unity of Science. A Frustrated Escape From the Human Subject.Jan Fennema - 1984 - Epistemologia 7 (2):279.
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  40. added 2017-01-28
    Modern Science and the Unity of Being.Joseph Meurers - 1959 - Philosophy Today 3 (2):140.
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  41. added 2017-01-28
    International Encyclopedia of Unified Science.Otto Neurath - 1938 - University of Chicago Pr.
  42. added 2017-01-28
    Encyclopedia and Unified Science.Otto Neurath - 1938 - University of Chicago Press.
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  43. added 2017-01-27
    Science in Two Minds: Reflections on the Missional Disunity Within Contemporary Medicine.P. C. Burcham - 2014 - Christian Bioethics 20 (3):359-375.
  44. added 2017-01-27
    Does the Unity of Science Have a Future?Jan Faye - 2014 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 17:263-275.
    The program of logical positivism gave inspiration to the unity of science movement. The movement carried the belief that all sciences, including the social sciences and the humanities, ought to share some common language if these disciplines were to be considered genuine sciences.
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  45. added 2017-01-27
    On Unity and Disunity in the Sciences: Variations of Ancient Themata.Gerald Holton - 2010 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 14:245-262.
    I feel honored to be asked to speak at this university where so many ground-breaking scientists and philosophers were students or teaching, spreading their message world wide and I am especially glad to have been asked to come by the Institut Wiener Kreis, of which I am proud to be a member, and whose splendid work for two decades and to this day is being carried out vigorously under Professor Stadler and his colleagues. Through that, a bright flame is being (...)
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  46. added 2017-01-27
    Planning Science: Otto Neurath and the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science.George A. Reisch - 1994 - British Journal for the History of Science 27 (2):153-175.
    In the spring of 1937, the University of Chicago Press mailed hundreds of subscription forms for its latest enterprise – a projected series of twenty short monographs by various philosophers and scientists. Together the monographs were to form the first section of the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science. Included in each mailing was an introductory prospectus which began:Recent years have witnessed a striking growth of interest in the scientific enterprise as a whole and especially in the unity of science. The (...)
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  47. added 2017-01-27
    The Unity of Scientific Inquiry and Categorial Theory in Artistotle.Jp Anton - 1990 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 121:29-43.
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  48. added 2017-01-27
    Foundations of the Unity of Science. II 8: The Development of Rationalism and Empiricism.George de Santillana & Edgar Zilsel - 1943 - Philosophical Review 52 (1):87-87.
  49. added 2017-01-23
    Special Sciences, or Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis.Jerry Fodor - 1974 - Synthese 28 (2):97--115.
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  50. added 2017-01-21
    Special Sciences.Carl Gillett - 2006 - In D. Borchert (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan Reference.
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1 — 50 / 208