Synthese 198 (6):5861–5882 (2021)

Kian Salimkhani
University of Cologne
In this paper I challenge two widespread convictions about unification in physics: unification is an aim of physics and unification is driven by metaphysical or metatheoretical presuppositions. I call these external explanations of why there is unification in physics. Against this, I claim that unification is a by-product of physical research and unification is driven by basic methodological strategies of physics alone. I call this an internal explanation of why there is unification in physics. To support my claims, I will investigate the actual practice undertaken in physics in paradigmatic examples of unification.
Keywords Unification  Methodology  Physics  Metaphysics
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Reprint years 2019, 2021
DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02436-x
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References found in this work BETA

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.
String Theory and the Scientific Method.Richard Dawid - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Dynamical Approach to Spin-2 Gravity.Kian Salimkhani - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 72:29-45.
Holography Without Holography: How to Turn Inter-Representational Into Intra-Theoretical Relations in AdS/CFT.Rasmus Jaksland & Niels S. Linnemann - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 71:101-117.

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