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The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science
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The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  27 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
The great dream of philosophers and scientists has been to give a complete account of the order of things. The articulation of such a dream in the 20th century has been expressed in the idea of a unity of science. John Dupre systematically attacks the idea of scientific unity by showing how its underlying assumptions are at odds with the basic conclusions of science itself ...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published February 22nd 1993 by Harvard University Press (first published February 1993)
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Sharad Pandian
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: phil-of-science
Looking closely at biology, John Dupre argues that the commonsensical assumption about how science consists of different levels neatly reducing into more fine-grained levels, culminating in neat microstructures is not really supported by modern scientific disciplines. There's a lot here to support his anti-reductionist views of science including:

-How various non-scientific categorization of species according to human purposes might be useful despite not aligning with any specific scientific cate
...more
Ville Kokko
Full of good smaller points, but I do not believe in the metaphysical foundations Dupré proposes. Dupré basically thinks that the world described at different levels has different rules in such a strong sense that everything couldn't be described in ultimate terms of physics even in principle. I think that a view of "weak" emergence where everything is describable by the same physics in principle but ONLY in principle accounts for the same observations, as well as being a more promising and sati ...more
Alexander Smith
A very good overview of some things that I had been trying to put words on, but no other source seemed to be able to! i don't know how I wrote large portions of my thesis without ever being told to read this book.

Although I disagree with some of the ways in which Dupré implies scientific structures are causally formed, much of his arguments for problems of unity of science and the way in which ontological pluralism plays a large part in scientific demarcation ring true to me in some way.

I'm impr
...more
Modern Hermeneut
Dec 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Scientists!
So you think scientists have got things pretty much figured out? Think again. This book makes it abundantly clear that most scientific claims are insidiously founded on reductionism, essentialism, and determinism.

And this is no reactionary polemic from some soft-thinking acolyte of the humanities. On the contrary, Dupre demonstrates fluency in the specialized vocabularies of an enormous range of scientific disciplines, from biology to astronomy. And, in contrast to the scientists he criticizes,
...more
Frank
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
James Watson once said "real science is physics--all the rest is social work." Dupre has done a great job attacking the idea that there is some ontologically foundational science. Very important book for those uncomfortable with the methodological individualism of economics--the queen of modern day social sciences.
katiev Veeninga
i love this book and it's great for anyone interested in the shaky philosophical foundations on which many sweeping scientific thoughts are based.
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