Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
EmergenceContemporary Readings in Philosophy and Science$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mark A. Bedau and Paul Humphreys

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026215

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026215.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)

Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)

(p.395) 22 Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)

Jerry Fodor

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the confusion regarding the “unity of science.” What has traditionally been called “the unity of science” is a much stronger, and much less plausible, thesis than the generality of physics. Reductionism may be an empirical doctrine, but it is intended to play a regulative role in scientific practice. Philosophers who accept reductivism do so because they wish to endorse the generality of physics in relation to the special sciences. They share the view that all events which fall under the laws of any science are physical events and, hence, fall under the laws of physics. For such philosophers, saying that physics is basic science and saying that theories in the special sciences must reduce to physical theories have seemed to be two ways of saying the same thing.

Keywords:   unity of science, reductionism, empirical doctrine, reductivism, special sciences, physics, basic science

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.