Selection and the extent of explanatory unification

Philosophy of Science 66 (3):209 (1999)

Abstract

According to Philip Kitcher, scientific unification is achieved via the derivation of numerous scientific statements from economies of argument schemata. I demonstrate that the unification of selection phenomena across domains in which it is claimed to occur--evolutionary biology, immunology and, speculatively, neurobiology--is unattainable on Kitcher's view. I then introduce an alternative method for rendering the desired unification based on the concept of a mechanism schema. I conclude that the gain in unification provided by the alternative account suggests that Kitcher's view is defective

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,766

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
254 (#44,799)

6 months
3 (#198,075)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
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.
Causality Without Counterfactuals.Wesley C. Salmon - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (2):297-312.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation.Stuart Glennan - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S342-353.
Mechanisms and Natural Kinds.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (5):575-594.
Thinking About Evolutionary Mechanisms: Natural Selection.Robert Skipper & Roberta Millstein - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):327-347.
Strategies for Discovering Mechanisms: Schema Instantiation, Modular Subassembly, Forward/Backward Chaining.Lindley Darden - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S354-S365.

View all 21 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Kitcher and the Obsessive Unifier.Jeffrey W. Roland - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2):493-506.
Explanatory Unification and Scientific Understanding.Eric Barnes - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:3 - 12.
Reductionism and the Unification Theory of Explanation.Todd Jones - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (1):21-30.
Explanatory Unification and the Problem of Asymmetry.Eric Barnes - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (4):558-571.