The multiple faces of scientific unity: scientific diversity in a comparative study of two contemporary sciences.
Toly, K.F.R. van
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This study compares the conception of science held by scientists from psychopharmacology and theoretical high energy physics against the light of ongoing debates about the nature and identity of science. This paper consists of a comparative analysis of the way individual scientists from different backgrounds view, understand, relate to and experience science. The differences and commonalities between the identity of science held by each field are discussed in the context of the identity debates in the science studies, in particular in the context of the so called disunity of science. The study adopts a subjective approach, viewing both the identities of science held by scientists, as well as those held by members of the science studies as meaningful aspects of each individual's practical environment. A central argument developed in the course of the paper concerns viewing the conceptions of science held by scientists from a particular field as an integral part of their particular practice. Another main argument aims to establish the inability of the concepts disunity and unity to do justice to scientific diversity. In the same line of reasoning this paper argues that other polarized explanations of science as principally natural or cultural, or realist or relativist equally provide the science studier with a false choice and therefore require reconsideration.