Unification beyond justification: a strategy for theory development

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Synthese, ISSN: 0039-7857, Page: 1-16

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Kao, Molly
Springer Nature
Arts and Humanities; Social Sciences
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article description
This paper considers the importance of unification in the context of developing scientific theories. I argue that unifying hypotheses are not valuable simply because they are supported by multiple lines of evidence. Instead, they can be valuable because they guide experimental research in different domains in such a way that the results from those experiments inform the scope of the theory being developed. I support this characterization by appealing to the early development of quantum theory. I then draw some comparisons with discussions of robustness reasoning.