Reductionism and the unification theory of explanation

Philosophy of Science 62 (1):21-30 (1995)

Abstract

P. Kitcher's unification theory of explanation appears to endorse a reductionistic view of scientific explanation that is inconsistant with scientific practice. In this paper, I argue that this appearance is illusory. The existence of multiply realizable generalizations enable the unification theory to also count many high-level accounts as explanatory.

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Todd Jones
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

References found in this work

Special Sciences.Jerry A. Fodor - 1974 - Synthese 28 (2):97-115.
Explanation and Scientific Understanding.Michael Friedman - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (1):5-19.
Explanatory Unification.Philip Kitcher - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (4):507-531.
Four Decades of Scientific Explanation.Wesley C. Salmon & Anne Fagot-Largeault - 1989 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (2):355.

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Citations of this work

Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.
Scientific Explanation and Understanding: Unificationism Reconsidered.Sorin Bangu - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):103-126.
Whewell’s Hylomorphism as a Metaphorical Explanation for How Mind and World Merge.Ragnar van der Merwe - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

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