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What Is an Immature Science?

Hibbert, Ruth (2016) What Is an Immature Science? International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 30 (1). pp. 1-17. ISSN 0269-8595. (doi:10.1080/02698595.2016.1240433) (KAR id:60602)


Cognitive and social sciences such as psychology and sociology are often described as immature sciences. But what is immaturity? According to the received view, immaturity is disunity, where disunity can usefully be cashed out in terms of having a plurality of disunified frameworks in play, where these frameworks consist of concepts, theories, goals, practices, methods, criteria for what counts as a good explanation, etc. However, there are some reasons to think that the cognitive and social sciences should be disunified in this sense. If that is right, either these sciences should remain immature, or we need a new account of immaturity. The former option is unappealing. I therefore provide an alternative account of immaturity, based on Dudley Shapere’s work on the internal/external distinction. I then go on to use this account to argue against the imposition of unification on the cognitive and social sciences. Acceptance of disunity may be the route to maturity, rather than a sign of immaturity.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/02698595.2016.1240433
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Philosophy
Depositing User: Ruth Hibbert
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2017 15:42 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 18:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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