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Unifying Scientific Theories : Physical Concepts and Mathematical Structures - Margaret Morrison

Unifying Scientific Theories

Physical Concepts and Mathematical Structures

Paperback Published: 27th June 2007
ISBN: 9780521037600
Number Of Pages: 284

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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.

Industry 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"

Acknowledgements
Introduction
The many faces of unity
Unification, realism and inference
Maxwell-s unification of electromagnetism and optics
Gauges, symmetries and forces: the electroweak unification
Special relativity and the unity of physics
Darwin and natural selection: unification versus explanation
Structural unity and the biological synthesis
Conclusions
Notes
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521037600
ISBN-10: 0521037603
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 284
Published: 27th June 2007
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.63
Weight (kg): 0.42

Earn 109 Qantas Points
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