Results for 'Unification'

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  1. Explanatory Unification.Philip Kitcher - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (4):507-531.
    The official model of explanation proposed by the logical empiricists, the covering law model, is subject to familiar objections. The goal of the present paper is to explore an unofficial view of explanation which logical empiricists have sometimes suggested, the view of explanation as unification. I try to show that this view can be developed so as to provide insight into major episodes in the history of science, and that it can overcome some of the most serious difficulties besetting (...)
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  2.  76
    Explanatory Unification: Double and Doubtful.Uskali Mäki - 2001 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (4):488-506.
    Explanatory unification—the urge to “explain much by little”—serves as an ideal of theorizing not only in natural sciences but also in the social sciences, most notably in economics. The ideal is occasionally challenged by appealing to the complexity and diversity of social systems and processes in space and time. This article proposes to accommodate such doubts by making a distinction between two kinds of unification and suggesting that while such doubts may be justified in regard to mere derivational (...)
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  3. Explaining Unification in Physics Internally.Kian Salimkhani - 2021 - Synthese 198 (6):5861–5882.
    In this paper I challenge two widespread convictions about unification in physics: unification is an aim of physics and unification is driven by metaphysical or metatheoretical presuppositions. I call these external explanations of why there is unification in physics. Against this, I claim that unification is a by-product of physical research and unification is driven by basic methodological strategies of physics alone. I call this an internal explanation of why there is unification in (...)
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  4. Unification by Fiat: Arrested Development of Predictive Processing.Piotr Litwin & Marcin Miłkowski - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (7).
    Predictive processing (PP) has been repeatedly presented as a unificatory account of perception, action, and cognition. In this paper, we argue that this is premature: As a unifying theory, PP fails to deliver general, simple, homogeneous, and systematic explanations. By examining its current trajectory of development, we conclude that PP remains only loosely connected both to its computational framework and to its hypothetical biological underpinnings, which makes its fundamentals unclear. Instead of offering explanations that refer to the same set of (...)
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  5. Unification Strategies in Cognitive Science.Marcin Miłkowski - 2016 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 48 (1):13–33.
    Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary conglomerate of various research fields and disciplines, which increases the risk of fragmentation of cognitive theories. However, while most previous work has focused on theoretical integration, some kinds of integration may turn out to be monstrous, or result in superficially lumped and unrelated bodies of knowledge. In this paper, I distinguish theoretical integration from theoretical unification, and propose some analyses of theoretical unification dimensions. Moreover, two research strategies that are supposed to lead to (...)
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  6. Explanatory Unification and the Causal Structure of the World.Philip Kitcher - 1989 - In Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon (eds.), Scientific Explanation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 410-505.
  7. Representational Unification in Cognitive Science: Is Embodied Cognition a Unifying Perspective?Marcin Miłkowski & Przemysław Nowakowski - 2019 - Synthese 199 (Suppl 1):67-88.
    In this paper, we defend a novel, multidimensional account of representational unification, which we distinguish from integration. The dimensions of unity are simplicity, generality and scope, non-monstrosity, and systematization. In our account, unification is a graded property. The account is used to investigate the issue of how research traditions contribute to representational unification, focusing on embodied cognition in cognitive science. Embodied cognition contributes to unification even if it fails to offer a grand unification of cognitive (...)
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  8.  51
    Unification in Intuitionistic Logic.Silvio Ghilardi - 1999 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 64 (2):859-880.
    We show that the variety of Heyting algebras has finitary unification type. We also show that the subvariety obtained by adding it De Morgan law is the biggest variety of Heyting algebras having unitary unification type. Proofs make essential use of suitable characterizations (both from the semantic and the syntactic side) of finitely presented projective algebras.
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  9. Unification and the Myth of Purely Reductive Understanding.Michael J. Shaffer - 2020 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 27:142-168.
    In this paper significant challenges are raised with respect to the view that explanation essentially involves unification. These objections are raised specifically with respect to the well-known versions of unificationism developed and defended by Michael Friedman and Philip Kitcher. The objections involve the explanatory regress argument and the concepts of reduction and scientific understanding. Essentially, the contention made here is that these versions of unificationism wrongly assume that reduction secures understanding.
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  10.  60
    Unification, the Answer to Resemblance Questions.Erik Weber & Merel Lefevere - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3501-3521.
    In the current literature on scientific explanation unification became unfashionable in favour of causal approaches. We want to bring unification back into the picture. In this paper we demonstrate that resemblance questions do occur in scientific practice and that they cannot be properly answered without unification. Our examples show that resemblance questions about particular facts demand what we call causal network unification, while resemblance questions about regularities require what we call mechanism unification. We clarify how (...)
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  11. Unification.T. Jones - 2008 - In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge.
    Summary: Throughout the history of science, indeed throughout the history of knowledge, unification has been touted as a central aim of intellectual inquiry. We’ve always wanted to discover not only numerous bare facts about the universe, but to show how such facts are linked and interrelated. Large amounts of time and effort have been spent trying to show diverse arrays of things can be seen as different manifestations of some common underlying entities or properties. Thales is said to have (...)
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  12.  56
    Unification, Explanation, and the Composition of Causes in Newtonian Mechanics.Malcolm R. Forster - 1988 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 19 (1):55-101.
    William Whewell’s philosophy of scientific discovery is applied to the problem of understanding the nature of unification and explanation by the composition of causes in Newtonian mechanics. The essay attempts to demonstrate: the sense in which ”approximate’ laws successfully refer to real physical systems rather than to idealizations of them; why good theoretical constructs are not badly underdetermined by observation; and why, in particular, Newtonian forces are not conventional and how empiricist arguments against the existence of component causes, and (...)
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  13. Unification and Revolution: A Paradigm for Paradigms.Nicholas Maxwell - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):133-149.
    Incommensurability was Kuhn’s worst mistake. If it is to be found anywhere in science, it would be in physics. But revolutions in theoretical physics all embody theoretical unification. Far from obliterating the idea that there is a persisting theoretical idea in physics, revolutions do just the opposite: they all actually exemplify the persisting idea of underlying unity. Furthermore, persistent acceptance of unifying theories in physics when empirically more successful disunified rivals can always be concocted means that physics makes a (...)
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  14.  8
    Unification in Modal and Description Logics.Franz Baader & Silvio Ghilardi - 2011 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 19 (6):705-730.
    Unification was originally introduced in automated deduction and term rewriting, but has recently also found applications in other fields. In this article, we give a survey of the results on unification obtained in two closely related, yet different, application areas of unification: description logics and modal logics.
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  15. Explanatory Unification and the Early Synthesis.Anya Plutynski - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (3):595-609.
    The object of this paper is to reply to Morrison's ([2000]) claim that while ‘structural unity’ was achieved at the level of the mathematical models of population genetics in the early synthesis, there was explanatory disunity. I argue to the contrary, that the early synthesis effected by the founders of theoretical population genetics was unifying and explanatory both. Defending this requires a reconsideration of Morrison's notion of explanation. In Morrison's view, all and only answers to ‘why’ questions which include the (...)
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  16. Unification: Not Just a Thing of Beauty.Ioannis Votsis - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (1):97.
    There is a strong tendency in science to opt for simpler and more unified hypotheses. A view that has often been voiced is that such qualities, though aesthetically pleasing or beautiful, are at best pragmatic considerations in matters of choosing between rival hypotheses. This essay offers a novel conception and an associated measure of unification, both of which are manifestly more than just pragmatic considerations. The discussion commences with a brief survey of some failed attempts to conceptualise unification. (...)
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  17. Explanatory Unification and the Problem of Asymmetry.Eric Barnes - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (4):558-571.
    Philip Kitcher has proposed a theory of explanation based on the notion of unification. Despite the genuine interest and power of the theory, I argue here that the theory suffers from a fatal deficiency: It is intrinsically unable to account for the asymmetric structure of explanation, and thus ultimately falls prey to a problem similar to the one which beset Hempel's D-N model. I conclude that Kitcher is wrong to claim that one can settle the issue of an argument's (...)
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  18. Unification and Explanation.Erik Weber & Maarten Van Dyck - 2002 - Synthese 131 (1):145 - 154.
    In this article we criticize two recent articles that examinethe relation between explanation and unification. Halonen and Hintikka (1999), on the one hand,claim that no unification is explanation. Schurz (1999), on the other hand, claims that all explanationis unification. We give counterexamples to both claims. We propose a pluralistic approach to the problem:explanation sometimes consists in unification, but in other cases different kinds of explanation(e.g., causal explanation) are required; and none of these kinds is more fundamental.
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  19. Why Unification is Neither Necessary nor Sufficient for Explanation.Victor Gijsbers - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (4):481-500.
    In this paper, I argue that unification is neither necessary nor sufficient for explanation. Focusing on the versions of the unificationist theory of explanation of Kitcher and of Schurz and Lambert, I establish three theses. First, Kitcher’s criterion of unification is vitiated by the fact that it entails that every proposition can be explained by itself, a flaw that it is unable to overcome. Second, because neither Kitcher’s theory nor that of Schurz and Lambert can solve the problems (...)
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  20.  93
    Explanatory Unification and Conceptualization.Stefan Petkov - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3695-3717.
    There are several important criticisms against the unificationist model of scientific explanation: Unification is a broad and heterogeneous notion and it is hard to see how a model of explanation based exclusively on unification can make a distinction between genuine explanatory unification from cases of ordering or classification. Unification alone cannot solve the asymmetry and irrelevance problems. Unification and explanation pull in different directions and should be decoupled, because for good scientific explanation extra ad explanandum (...)
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  21.  81
    Unification: What is It, How Do We Reach and Why Do We Want It?Erik Weber - 1999 - Synthese 118 (3):479-499.
    This article has three aims. The first is to give a partial explication of the concept of unification. My explication will be partial because I confine myself to unification of particular events, because I do not consider events of a quantitative nature, and discuss only deductive cases. The second aim is to analyze how unification can be reached. My third aim is to show that unification is an intellectual benefit. Instead of being an intellectual benefit (...) could be an intellectual harm, i.e., a state of mind we should try to avoid by all means. By calling unification an intellectual benefit, we claim that this form of understanding has an intrinsic value for us. I argue that unification really has this alleged intrinsic value. (shrink)
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  22.  26
    Filtering Unification and Most General Unifiers in Modal Logic.Silvio Ghilardi & Lorenzo Sacchetti - 2004 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 69 (3):879-906.
    We characterize (both from a syntactic and an algebraic point of view) the normal K4-logics for which unification is filtering. We also give a sufficient semantic criterion for existence of most general unifiers, covering natural extensions of K4.2⁺ (i.e., of the modal system obtained from K4 by adding to it, as a further axiom schemata, the modal translation of the weak excluded middle principle).
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  23.  15
    Unification in Epistemic Logics.Philippe Balbiani & Çiğdem Gencer - 2017 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 27 (1-2):91-105.
    Epistemic logics are essential to the design of logical systems that capture elements of reasoning about knowledge. In this paper, we study the computability of unifiability and the unification types in several epistemic logics.
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  24. Bayesian Cognitive Science, Unification, and Explanation.Stephan Hartmann & Matteo Colombo - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2).
    It is often claimed that the greatest value of the Bayesian framework in cognitive science consists in its unifying power. Several Bayesian cognitive scientists assume that unification is obviously linked to explanatory power. But this link is not obvious, as unification in science is a heterogeneous notion, which may have little to do with explanation. While a crucial feature of most adequate explanations in cognitive science is that they reveal aspects of the causal mechanism that produces the phenomenon (...)
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  25.  46
    Interpretability and Unification.Adrian Erasmus & Tyler D. P. Brunet - 2022 - Philosophy and Technology 35 (2):1-6.
    In a recent reply to our article, “What is Interpretability?,” Prasetya argues against our position that artificial neural networks are explainable. It is claimed that our indefeasibility thesis—that adding complexity to an explanation of a phenomenon does not make the phenomenon any less explainable—is false. More precisely, Prasetya argues that unificationist explanations are defeasible to increasing complexity, and thus, we may not be able to provide such explanations of highly complex AI models. The reply highlights an important lacuna in our (...)
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  26. Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.
    This paper develops and motivates a unification theory of metaphysical explanation, or as I will call it, Metaphysical Unificationism. The theory’s main inspiration is the unification account of scientific explanation, according to which explanatoriness is a holistic feature of theories that derive a large number of explananda from a meager set of explanantia, using a small number of argument patterns. In developing Metaphysical Unificationism, I will point out that it has a number of interesting consequences. The view offers (...)
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  27.  13
    Unification Beyond Justification: A Strategy for Theory Development.Molly Kao - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3263-3278.
    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 (...)
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  28.  87
    Explanatory Unification and Scientific Understanding.Eric Barnes - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:3 - 12.
    The theory of explanatory unification was first proposed by Friedman (1974) and developed by Kitcher (1981, 1989). The primary motivation for this theory, it seems to me, is the argument that this account of explanation is the only account that correctly describes the genesis of scientific understanding. Despite the apparent plausibility of Friedman's argument to this effect, however, I argue here that the unificationist thesis of understanding is false. The theory of explanatory unification as articulated by Friedman and (...)
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  29. Understanding, Explanation, and Unification.Victor Gijsbers - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):516-522.
    In this article I argue that there are two different types of understanding: the understanding we get from explanations, and the understanding we get from unification. This claim is defended by first showing that explanation and unification are not as closely related as has sometimes been thought. A critical appraisal of recent proposals for understanding without explanation leads us to discuss the example of a purely classificatory biology: it turns out that such a science can give us understanding (...)
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  30.  24
    Unification, Finite Duality and Projectivity in Varieties of Heyting Algebras.Silvio Ghilardi - 2004 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 127 (1-3):99-115.
    We investigate finitarity of unification types in locally finite varieties of Heyting algebras, giving both positive and negative results. We make essential use of finite dualities within a conceptualization for E-unification theory 733–752) relying on the algebraic notion of a projective object.
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  31. The Causal and Unification Approaches to Explanation Unified—Causally.Michael Strevens - 2004 - Noûs 38 (1):154–176.
    The two major modern accounts of explanation are the causal and unification accounts. My aim in this paper is to provide a kind of unification of the causal and the unification accounts, by using the central technical apparatus of the unification account to solve a central problem faced by the causal account, namely, the problem of determining which parts of a causal network are explanatorily relevant to the occurrence of an explanandum. The end product of my (...)
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  32.  33
    Unification in Linear Temporal Logic LTL.Sergey Babenyshev & Vladimir Rybakov - 2011 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 162 (12):991-1000.
    We prove that a propositional Linear Temporal Logic with Until and Next has unitary unification. Moreover, for every unifiable in LTL formula A there is a most general projective unifier, corresponding to some projective formula B, such that A is derivable from B in LTL. On the other hand, it can be shown that not every open and unifiable in LTL formula is projective. We also present an algorithm for constructing a most general unifier.
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  33. Explanatory Unification.Thomas Bartelborth - 2002 - Synthese 130 (1):91-108.
    Explanations contribute to our understanding of the world byembedding phenomena into general nomic patterns that we recognize in the world. Manyof these patterns are, of course, causal ones, but the declaration as ``causal'' often fails to determinethe explanatory power of the pattern. More important is the systematization capacity and the empiricalcontent of the pattern or theory with respect to explanations. We can specify these parameters moreprecisely within the framework of the structuralist view of theories.
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  34. Unification as a Regulative Ideal.Philip Kitcher - 1999 - Perspectives on Science 7 (3):337-348.
  35.  15
    Unification and Admissible Rules for Paraconsistent Minimal Johanssonsʼ Logic J and Positive Intuitionistic Logic IPC.Sergei Odintsov & Vladimir Rybakov - 2013 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 164 (7-8):771-784.
    We study unification problem and problem of admissibility for inference rules in minimal Johanssonsʼ logic J and positive intuitionistic logic IPC+. This paper proves that the problem of admissibility for inference rules with coefficients is decidable for the paraconsistent minimal Johanssonsʼ logic J and the positive intuitionistic logic IPC+. Using obtained technique we show also that the unification problem for these logics is also decidable: we offer algorithms which compute complete sets of unifiers for any unifiable formula. Checking (...)
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  36.  39
    Unification and Explanation: Explanation as a Prototype Concept.Gerhard Schurz - 2014 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 29 (1):57-70.
    In this paper I investigate unification as a virtue of explanation. In the first part of the paper I give a brief exposition of the unification account of Schurz and Lambert and Schurz. I illustrate the advantages of this account in comparison to the older unification accounts of Friedman and Kitcher. In the second part I discuss several comments and objections to the Schurz-Lambert account that were raised by Weber and van Dyck, Gijsbers and de Regt. In (...)
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  37.  35
    Unification Beyond Justification: A Strategy for Theory Development.Molly Kao - 2017 - Synthese:1-16.
    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 (...)
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  38. On the Unification of Physics.Tim Maudlin - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):129-144.
    There are various senses in which a physical theory may be said to "unify" different forces, with the unification being deeper of more shallow in different cases. This paper discusses some of these distinctions.
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  39. Isolation and Unification: The Realist Analysis of Possible Worlds.Phillip Bricker - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 84 (2-3):225 - 238.
    If realism about possible worlds is to succeed in eliminating primitive modality, it must provide an 'analysis' of possible world: nonmodal criteria for demarcating one world from another. This David Lewis has done. Lewis holds, roughly, that worlds are maximal unified regions of logical space. So far, so good. But what Lewis means by 'unification' is too narrow, I think, in two different ways. First, for Lewis, all worlds are (almost) 'globally' unified: at any world, (almost) every part is (...)
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  40. Mereological Nihilism and Theoretical Unification.Andrew Brenner - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (4):318-337.
    Mereological nihilism (henceforth just "nihilism") is the thesis that composition never occurs. Nihilism has often been defended on the basis of its theoretical simplicity, including its ontological simplicity and its ideological simplicity (roughly, nihilism's ability to do without primitive mereological predicates). In this paper I defend nihilism on the basis of the theoretical unification conferred by nihilism, which is, roughly, nihilism's capacity to allow us to take fewer phenomena as brute and inexplicable. This represents a respect in which nihilism (...)
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  41.  23
    On Unification and Admissible Rules in Gabbay–de Jongh Logics.Jeroen P. Goudsmit & Rosalie Iemhoff - 2014 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 165 (2):652-672.
    In this paper we study the admissible rules of intermediate logics. We establish some general results on extensions of models and sets of formulas. These general results are then employed to provide a basis for the admissible rules of the Gabbay–de Jongh logics and to show that these logics have finitary unification type.
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  42.  50
    Unification Grammars and Off-Line Parsability.Efrat Jaeger, Nissim Francez & Shuly Wintner - 2005 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 14 (2):199-234.
    Unification grammars are known to be Turing-equivalent; given a grammar G and a word w, it is undecidable whether w L(G). In order to ensure decidability, several constraints on grammars, commonly known as off-line parsability (OLP), were suggested, such that the recognition problem is decidable for grammars which satisfy OLP. An open question is whether it is decidable if a given grammar satisfies OLP. In this paper we investigate various definitions of OLP and discuss their interrelations, proving that some (...)
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  43.  8
    Beyond Unification.Johannes Hafner & Paolo Mancosu - 2008 - In Paolo Mancosu (ed.), The Philosophy of Mathematical Practice. Oxford University Press. pp. 151--178.
  44.  34
    Unification and the Quantum Hypothesis in 1900–1913.Molly Kao - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1200-1210.
    In this article, I consider some of the first appearances of a hypothesis of quantized energy between the years 1900 and 1913 and provide an analysis of the nature of the unificatory power of this hypothesis in a Bayesian framework. I argue that the best way to understand the unification here is in terms of informational relevance: on the assumption of the quantum hypothesis, phenomena that were previously thought to be unrelated turned out to yield information about one another (...)
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  45.  71
    Unification, Reduction, and Non-Ideal Explanations.Todd Jones - 1997 - Synthese 112 (1):75-96.
    Kitcher's unification theory of explanation seems to suggest that only the most reductive accounts can legitimately be termed explanatory. This is not what we find in actual scientific practice. In this paper, I attempt to reconcile these ideas. I claim that Kitcher's theory picks out ideal explanations, but that our term explanation is used to cover other accounts that have a certain relationship with the ideal accounts. At times, versions and portions of ideal explanations can also be considered explanatory.
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  46.  12
    Unification, Universalism, and Rational Choice Theory.Debra Satz & John Ferejohn - 2017 - In Louis Putterman (ed.), The Rational Choice Controversy. Yale University Press. pp. 71-84.
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  47.  76
    Unification – It's Magnificent but is It Explanation?Ilpo Halonen & Jaakko Hintikka - 1999 - Synthese 120 (1):27-47.
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  48. Explanation = Unification? A New Criticism of Friedman’s Theory and a Reply to an Old One.Roche William & Sober Elliott - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):391-413.
    According to Michael Friedman’s theory of explanation, a law X explains laws Y1, Y2, …, Yn precisely when X unifies the Y’s, where unification is understood in terms of reducing the number of independently acceptable laws. Philip Kitcher criticized Friedman’s theory but did not analyze the concept of independent acceptability. Here we show that Kitcher’s objection can be met by modifying an element in Friedman’s account. In addition, we argue that there are serious objections to the use that Friedman (...)
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  49. Unification, Realism and Inference.Margaret Morrison - 1990 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 41 (3):305-332.
  50.  68
    Unification Through the Rationalities and Intentionalities of Shame.Cecilea Mun - 2019 - In Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Shame: Methods, Theories, Norms, Cultures, and Politics. Lanham, MD 20706, USA: Lexington Books. pp. 27-50.
    In this chapter, I argue that an understanding of what shame is through an understanding of its rationality and intentionality can provide a single framework that may be able to unify the research on shame, perhaps even across disciplines. To do so, I begin by explaining what a criterion for the ontological rationality of shame is, and I explain its relation to an understanding of what makes shame the kind of emotion that it is. In doing so, I demonstrate how (...)
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