History And Philosophy Of Science | Unity and Disunity in the Sciences
X755 | 3020 | Jordi Cat
Since the ancient Greeks wondered about the problem of the one and the
many, our knowledge has been quite often required to be systematically
unified. But why? Because God is one? Because the world is One? or, a
la Kant, because the Transcendental Unity of Apperception is One and
concepts are unifiers and knowledge constitutes its object through
synthesis? If it is a prerequite for our understanding, is it simply a
matter of cognitive economy? And how is knowledge unified? The same
question apply to science. The idea, or ideal, of unification has
captured the imagination of scientists. Is it a matter of discovering
esseces or, rather, of focusing upon boundries and connections?
(demarcation criteria? models of reduction?) But have the sciences
been unified? Can they be unified? Should they? Similarly, for
particular sciences: is biology unified? is phsysiology
just molecular genetics? is sociobiology? Eomsteom
claimed that economics is ultimately just physics. Will
it be placed by physics? And physics, is physics
unified? isthermodynamics consistent with Newtonian mechanics? How do
relativity and quantum physics relate to classical mechanics? Is all
physics relativistic quantum field theory? String theory? How do
different part of physics hang together? What does unification mean?
The unification of what? How is it justified? And why does it matter?