Abstract: This paper provides a simple game-theoretic analysis of unification. We argue that ceteris paribus a unified theory that promises greater cognitive benefits but also requires cooperation between scientists with different areas of specialization is no more rational to pursue than a less unified theory that promises lower cognitive benefits but requires no such cooperation. Further, pursuing unification becomes more rational when scientists adopt collective epistemic goals. Our analysis suggests a wide-ranging social epistemology that identifies conditions wherein different kinds of unification are rational to pursue.
[edit database entry]