The unifying power of scientific theories. An alternative proposal from structuralism to Kitcher’s explanatory pattern

Daniel Blanco, Santiago Ginnobili, Pablo Lorenzano

Abstract


Kitcher has satisfactorily explicated unification using his particular approach to scientific explanation. However, we believe that his perspective has certain problems, which have been inherited by more recent approaches to the topic. Specifically, the requirement of stringency of patterns that Kitcher proposes to determine the unifying power of an explanatory pattern undermines the typical and peculiar heterogeneity we can find in different applications of unifying theories. We will show how this topic can be better addressed by the perspective built by metatheoretical structuralism without sacrificing any of Kitcher's correct intuitions.


Keywords


Explanation, Kitcher, metatheoretical structuralism, spurious unification, unification



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1387/theoria.18870