Unification and the Myth of Purely Reductive Understanding

Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 27:142-168 (2020)
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Abstract

In this paper significant challenges are raised with respect to the view that explanation essentially involves unification. These objections are raised specifically with respect to the well-known versions of unificationism developed and defended by Michael Friedman and Philip Kitcher. The objections involve the explanatory regress argument and the concepts of reduction and scientific understanding. Essentially, the contention made here is that these versions of unificationism wrongly assume that reduction secures understanding.

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Michael Shaffer
Gustavus Adolphus College

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