University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

History of Science and Technology/Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science Colloquium

Friday, November 17th 2017
Speaker: Molly Kao, Department of Philosophy - University of Montreal
Subject: Unification and Heuristic Strategies in the Development of Quantum Theory
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.

In this talk, Dr. Kao provides a heuristic conception of the feature of unification in the context of developing scientific theories. She argues that the value of a unifying hypothesis is not necessarily that of its ability to explain phenomena, nor must it be that it is more likely to be true. Instead, unifying hypotheses can be valuable because they guide experimental research in different domains in such a way that the results from those experiments contribute to our understanding of a theory under pursuit. Dr. Kao supports this characterization by appealing to the early development of quantum theory.

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