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Harp, Randall, Kareem Khalifa. Why Pursue Unification? A Social-Epistemological Puzzle
2015, Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 30(3): 431-447.
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Added by: Nick Novelli
Abstract: Many have argued that unified theories ought to be pursued wherever possible. We deny this on the basis of social-epistemological and game-theoretic considerations. Consequently, those seeking a more ubiquitous role for unification must either attend to the scientific community's social structure in greater detail than has been the case, and/or radically revise their conception of unification.

Comment: An interesting argument about how scientific practice influences the rationality of theory choice. Would be suited to any course where these issues are discussed.

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Vredenburg, Kate. A Unificationist Defense of Revealed Preferences
2019, Economics & Philosophy 36.1, 149-169
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Added by: Björn Freter

Abstract: Revealed preference approaches to modelling agents’ choices face two seemingly devastating explanatory objections. The no self-explanation objection imputes a problematic explanatory circularity to revealed preference approaches, while the causal explanation objection argues that, all things equal, a scientific theory should provide causal explanations, but revealed preference approaches decidedly do not. Both objections assume a view of explanation, the constraint-based view, that the revealed preference theorist ought to reject. Instead, the revealed preference theorist should adopt a unificationist account of explanation, allowing her to escape the two explanatory problems discussed in this paper.

Comment: An ingenious and clear defense of the revealed preference interpretation, probably the best one that's possible. A nice opportunity to discuss with students the intellectual gymnastics required in order to defend theoretical commitments of the contemporary economy.

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