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Unification as a Measure of Natural Classification

Gijsbers, Victor (2014) Unification as a Measure of Natural Classification. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 29 (1). pp. 71-82. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

Recent interest in the idea that there can be scientific understanding without explanation lends new relevance to Duhem's notion of natural classification. According to Duhem, a classification that is natural teaches us something about nature without being explanatory. However, Duhem's conception of naturalness leaves much to be desired. In this paper, I argue that we can measure the naturalness of classification by using an amended version of the notion of unification as defined by Schurz and Lambert. If this thesis is correct, it both leads to a better conceptual understanding of scientific understanding, and also gives the nascent literature on this topic some much-needed precision.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Gijsbers, Victorvictor@lilith.cc
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: unification; understanding; explanation; natural classification; Pierre Duhem
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email theoria@ehu.es
Date Deposited: 06 May 2014 11:28
Last Modified: 06 May 2014 11:28
Item ID: 10654
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL: http://www.ehu.es/ojs/index.php/THEORIA/article/vi...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1387/theoria.7235
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Date: January 2014
Page Range: pp. 71-82
Volume: 29
Number: 1
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10654

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