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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  History of Science & Nature

Unifying Scientific Theories Physical Concepts and Mathematical Structures

By: Margaret Morrison
280 pages, 9 line diagrams
Unifying Scientific Theories
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  • Unifying Scientific Theories ISBN: 9780521037600 Paperback Jul 2007 Usually dispatched within 6 days
    £31.99
    #169850
  • Unifying Scientific Theories ISBN: 9780521652162 Hardback May 2000 Usually dispatched within 6 days
    £66.99
    #169849
Selected version: £31.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Related titles

About this book

This book is about the methods used for unifying different scientific theories under one all-embracing theory. The process has characterized much of the history of science and is prominent in contemporary physics; the search for a `theory of everything' involves the same attempt at unification.

Margaret Morrison argues that, contrary to popular philosophical views, unification and explanation often have little to do with each other. The mechanisms that facilitate unification are not those that enable us to explain how or why phenomena behave as they do. A feature of this book is an account of many case studies of theory unification in nineteenth- and twentieth-century physics and of how evolution by natural selection and Mendelian genetics were unified into what we now term evolutionary genetics.

Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. The many faces of unity; 2. Unification, realism and inference; 3. Maxwell's unification of electromagnetism and optics; 4. Gauges, symmetries and forces: the electroweak unification; 5. Special relativity and the unity of physics; 6. Darwin and natural selection: unification versus explanation; 7. Structural unity and the biological synthesis; Conclusions; Notes; References; Index.

Customer Reviews

By: Margaret Morrison
280 pages, 9 line diagrams
Media reviews
Unifying Scientific Theories offers an exemplar of the historical and philosophical breadth that are important and badly needed in philosophical attempts to understand the many faces of unity in science. Andrew Wayne, Canadian Journal of Philosophy "I expect this book to have a truly significant impact on today's philosophy of science. My reasons are three: it is solidly grounded in the history of science, it addresses biology as well as the physical sciences, and it represents a tremendous challenge to much contemporary thinking about scientific explanation." Bas van Fraassen, author of The Scientific Image "a sustained, informative, and thought-provoking"
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