Reductionism and the unification theory of explanation

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

Citations of this work

Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.
Whewell’s hylomorphism as a metaphorical explanation for how mind and world merge.Ragnar van der Merwe - 2023 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 54 (1):19-38.
Scientific explanation and understanding: unificationism reconsidered.Sorin Bangu - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):103-126.

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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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