The American Naturalist
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, Sandra D. and Dietrich, Michael R., "Integration without Unification: An Argument for Pluralism in the Biological Sciences" (2006). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 2077.