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Unity Without Myths

  • Daniel AndlerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science book series (LEUS, volume 18)

Abstract

We seem to suffer from a case of cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, we seem to have almost unanimously rejected as hopeless or incoherent the aim of a unified science. On the other, we passionately debate about the prospects of research programs which, if successful, would considerably enhance the prospects of unification: from particle physics to cognitive neuroscience, from evolutionary theory to logical modeling or dynamic systems, a common motivation seems to be the quest for unity. The purpose of this paper is to relieve the dissonance. I will defend a moderate form of unity, one which is compatible with the diversity and open-endedness of science, for which I can think of no better name than federalism, as it combines plurality and the construction of a common epistemic area. This view is not original: Otto Neurath himself espoused it, albeit in a context which is in certain respects quite unlike ours.

Keywords

Natural Kind Cognitive Dissonance Niche Construction Organic Unity Pessimistic Induction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), Institut Universitaire de France, École Normale SupérieureParisFrance

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