The American Naturalist
Department of Biological Sciences
In this article, we consider the tension between unification and pluralism in biological theory. We begin with a consideration of historical efforts to establish a unified understanding of evolution in the neo‐Darwinian synthesis. The fragmentation of the evolutionary synthesis by molecular evolution suggests the limitations of the general unificationist ideal for biology but not necessarily for integrating explanations. In the second half of this article, we defend a specific variety of pluralism that allows for the integration required for explanations of complex phenomena without unification on a large scale.
Mitchell SD, Dietrich MR. Integration without unification: an argument for pluralism in the biological sciences. Am Nat. 2006 Dec;168 Suppl 6:S73-9. doi: 10.1086/509050. PMID: 17109330.
Dartmouth Digital Commons Citation
Mitchell, Sandra D. and Dietrich, Michael R., "Integration without Unification: An Argument for Pluralism in the Biological Sciences" (2006). Dartmouth Scholarship. 2077.