Pluralism and the Unity of Science
Oxford University Press
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Breitenbach, A., & Choi, Y. (2017). Pluralism and the Unity of Science. The Monist, 100 (3), 391-405. https://doi.org/10.1093/monist/onx017
This essay argues for a conception of the unity of science that is of distant but distinct Kantian provenance. We first review some of the challenges that undermined two influential predecessor conceptions of the unity of science. Many of these criticisms were raised by pluralists, who found them reason enough to embrace the disunity of science. We propose an alternative response. We argue that the epistemic advantages of pluralism arise only when it is combined with a limiting constraint: when it is what we call unified pluralism. Moreover, once we accept unified pluralism, an ideal emerges of a pluralist unity of science. We argue that we have good reason to adopt this ideal as regulative of scientific inquiry, and as guiding discovery of the laws of nature when and where they exist.
Angela Breitenbach gratefully acknowledges the support of the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/monist/onx017
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/263706