Unity of Science

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Unity of science was once a very popular idea among both philosophers and scientists. But it has fallen out of fashion, largely because of its association with reductionism and the challenge from multiple realisation. Pluralism and the disunity of science are the new norm, and higher-level natural kinds and special science laws are considered to have an important role in scientific practice. What kind of reductionism does multiple realisability challenge? What does it take to reduce one phenomenon to another? How do we determine which kinds are natural? What is the ontological basis of unity? In this Element, Tuomas Tahko examines these questions from a contemporary perspective, after a historical overview. The upshot is that there is still value in the idea of a unity of science. We can combine a modest sense of unity with pluralism and give an ontological analysis of unity in terms of natural kind monism. This title is available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.

Similar books and articles

Where Do You Get Your Protein? Or: Biochemical Realization.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):799-825.
Unified Theories and Disparate Things.Margaret Morrison - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:365 - 373.
What if reality has no architecture?Bence Nanay - 2011 - The Monist 94 (2):181-197.
Natural Kinds and Natural Kind Terms: Myth and Reality.Sören Häggqvist & Åsa Wikforss - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):911-933.
The unity of science.Martin Carrier & Jürgen Mittelstrass - 1990 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 4 (1):17-31.
The Realism of Taxonomic Pluralism.Ka Ho Lam - 2020 - Metaphysics 3 (1):1-16.
Muhammad Ali Khalidi: Natural Categories and Human Kinds. Classification in the Natural and Social Sciences.Georg Theiner - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (1):247-255.
Scientific kinds.Marc Ereshefsky & Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):969-986.
The Functional Unity of Special Science Kinds.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):233-258.
The Metaphysics of Natural Kinds: An Essentialist Approach.Gbenga Fasiku - 2010 - Saarbrucken: Lambert Academic Publishing.
The metaphysics of natural kinds.Alexander Bird - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1397-1426.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-11-09

Downloads
254 (#48,437)

6 months
45 (#29,747)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Tuomas E. Tahko
University of Bristol

Citations of this work

Illusionism is no trick.Keith Frankish - 2022 - Human Affairs 32 (3):321-327.
Framing the Epistemic Schism of Statistical Mechanics.Javier Anta - 2021 - Proceedings of the X Conference of the Spanish Society of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.

View all 102 references / Add more references