Scientific Pluralism Reconsidered (Hardcover)

A New Approach to the (Dis)Unity of Science

By Stephanie Ruphy

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822944584, 208pp.

Publication Date: January 31, 2017

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Can we expect our scientific theories to make up a unified structure, or do they form a kind of “patchwork” whose pieces remain independent from each other? Does the proliferation of sometimes-incompatible representations of the same phenomenon compromise the ability of science to deliver reliable knowledge? Is there a single correct way to classify things that science should try to discover, or is taxonomic pluralism here to stay? These questions are at the heart of philosophical debate on the unity or plurality of science, one of the most central issues in philosophy of science today. This book offers a critical overview and a new structure of this debate. It focuses on the methodological, epistemic, and metaphysical commitments of various philosophical attitudes surrounding monism and pluralism, and offers novel perspectives and pluralist theses on scientific methods and objects, reductionism, plurality of representations, natural kinds, and scientific classifications.

About the Author

Stéphanie Ruphy is professor of philosophy of science and head of the research laboratory PPL (Philosophy, Pratices, and Langages) at Université Grenoble Alpes in France. She is also president of the Société de philosophie des sciences.

Praise For Scientific Pluralism Reconsidered: A New Approach to the (Dis)Unity of Science

“Ruphy's book is an important contribution to the growing literature on scientific pluralism. It should be read and discussed widely.”

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science

Scientific Pluralism Reconsidered is a pleasing culmination of Stéphanie Ruphy’s pioneering and underappreciated philosophical work. She gives careful and sympathetic critiques of various monist and pluralist positions and advances her own synthesis of ‘foliated pluralism’ supported by perceptive and measured arguments. This book deserves to be read by all practice-oriented philosophers of science.”
 —Hasok Chang, University of Cambridge