Synthese (forthcoming)

Marcin Miłkowski
Polish Academy of Sciences
Przemysław Nowakowski
Polish Academy of Sciences
In this paper, we defend a novel, multidimensional account of representational unification, which we distinguish from integration. The dimensions of unity are simplicity, generality and scope, non-monstrosity, and systematization. In our account, unification is a graded property. The account is used to investigate the issue of how research traditions contribute to representational unification, focusing on embodied cognition in cognitive science. Embodied cognition contributes to unification even if it fails to offer a grand unification of cognitive science. The study of this failure shows that unification, contrary to what defenders of mechanistic explanation claim, is an important mechanistic virtue of research traditions.
Keywords Explanatory unification   Representational unification  Explanatory integration   Mechanistic explanation   Embodied cognition  Research tradition
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