Re-unifying philosophy through dis-unifying science

Onderzoeksoutput: Other report


Underlying much work in recent philosophy of science, in its broadest sense, is a tension between monism and pluralism, this both ontologically and methodologically. The concept of 'monism' is used here in a specific, restricted sense, viz., as reflecting a strive for unification, reduction and simplicity, while pluralism expresses the opposite tendency, namely towards diversity, autonomy and openness. Monism has some very strong considerations going in favour of it, and hence in some or other form remains the mainstream position. Nevertheless, while a lot of pleas for diversity have been very problematic, as we see it, very reasonable pluralistic positions seem to be emerging, in the philosophical reflection on science as within science itself.

It is our project to identify this tension in different fields, notably (the philosophy of) mathematics, physics and psychology, in order to investigate whether a unified case for disunity can be made. To reach this goal, we will explore the usefulness of conceptualizing perceiving, thinking, and ultimately scientific theorizing as practices, in contrast to considering them only in terms of the sediments or results of those practices. We will indeed be claiming that it is possible to provide a practice-based account of science that is basically pluralistic, but nevertheless yields the very fruits exclusively attributed to monism, objectivity and realism the most important of these. Our inquiry is built on detailed analyses of and recent illustrations from the fields of mathematics, cognitive science and quantum physics.
Originele taal-2English
Uitgavein het kader van het gelijknamige GOA-project
StatusPublished - 2006


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