Most debates of the disunity of sciences arise from different aspects of combining the sciences into one whole body of knowledge. Philosophers argued that the process of searching for new concepts required various views to study particular phenomena, but not merely one general theory of science. The purpose of this paper is to indicate the perspectives for disunity of sciences between Jerry Fodor and John Dupre, and to identify which of these philosopher’s approach are more applicable to nursing sciences.
John Dupre’s Position
Dupre’s position of the unity of science is based on the argument that, as a disunited concept, science should include metaphysics. He analyzed arguments from logical positivists who indicated that metaphysics was not real science, and considered the unity of science as part of their scientific inquiry. He further explained why no one could identify one theory of science. Therefore, Dupre argued that the classification of sciences in levels was complex.
Jerry Fodor’s Position
Fodor disapproved the positivistic philosophy approach to the unity of science where all special scientific theories could be reduced to physical theories. He did not believe that it was possible for all events explained by laws of any science to be categorized as laws of physics. To dispute this aspect of reductivism, he uses the ideological relationships between the predicates of specialized sciences and those of physics that characterize it. He argued that this aspect of unity was invalid because of the generalizations created from physical events that had nothing in common. One of the ways that he proved this fact was relating reductivism to Gresham’s Law of monetary exchanges.
Which approach is related to Nursing Sciences?
Nursing science can be described as a field that is associated with the relationship between the care of the human body, in all its aspects, and sustaining its well-being in relation to science. This involves aspects of human beings ranging from the biological, physical, and chemical aspects to individual identity and their being. For these reasons, John Dupre’s approach can be integrated into the field of nursing science. While disputing the unity of science, he addresses reductionism as a common philosophy. This philosophy involves the use of the simple and essential constituents of a phenomenon to explain its complexity through analysis. In this light, he addresses that one of the ways in which the world is observed is through its components such as elements, atoms, and molecules. Biologically, he associates this with a hierarchy that involves constituents such as cells, organs, multi-cellular organisms, and ecological communities. The classification according to complexity in the hierarchy is acknowledged, but is described as being too simple because it is mainly used to study and understand phenomena close to that of what is considered to be a typical human.
Integrating metaphysics into reductionism, one of the most effective ways of understanding complexity, widens the scope of knowledge of human beings. Applying aspects of metaphysics such as ontology allows for the study of the behavior of the constituent elements and their composition. In the field of nursing science, this would provide a greater understanding of normality and disease in the study subjects. In addition, it allows for better medical measures to be taken when handling the individuals, therefore, increasing effectiveness in their work. Another application of metaphysics would be in providing an understanding of individuality and identity that will, in turn, equip nurses with the ability to personalize with the individuals that they are assisting. Personalization will allow the nurses to understand how to handle patients with different personalities and conditions and provide them with the best services.