A concept in philosophy of science first described by Whewell, especially in his Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (1840). Whewell highlighted the process whereby inductions ‘tie together’ facts by the formation of new ideas. Thus separate pieces of evidence may tie together to support a conclusion whose total credibility is then greater than that given by any individual piece of evidence. A good hypothesis not only predicts facts of diverse kinds, but shows that underneath the diversity there is a fundamental unity. Although Whewell is perhaps over-optimistic in thinking that there is one ‘right’ unifying conception to be found in any branch of science, the virtues he points out are extremely important.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.


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  • Consilience — signifiant Sauter ensemble est un terme du philosophe William Whewell pour désigner le type de démonstration qui apparaît lorsque de nombreuses sources indépendantes concourent à cerner un phénomène historique particulier. La « Consilience… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Consilience — Con*sil i*ence, n. [con + salire to leap.] Act of concurring; coincidence; concurrence. [1913 Webster] The consilience of inductions takes place when one class of facts coincides with an induction obtained from another different class. Whewell.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • consilience — 1840, concurrence, coincidence, lit. a jumping together, formed on model of resilience from L. consilient , from com together (see COM (Cf. com )) + salire to leap (see SALIENT (Cf. salient)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Consilience — For Edward O. Wilson s 1998 book, see Consilience (book). For The African science podcast, see Consilience (podcast). Consilience, or the unity of knowledge (literally a jumping together of knowledge), has its roots in the ancient Greek concept… …   Wikipedia

  • consilience — noun Etymology: com + resilience Date: 1840 the linking together of principles from different disciplines especially when forming a comprehensive theory …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • consilience — noun a) the concurrence of multiple inductions drawn from different data sets b) Agreement, co operation or sharing of methods between or convergence or overlap of academic disciplines …   Wiktionary

  • consilience — n. coincidence; concurrence …   English contemporary dictionary

  • consilience — [kən sɪlɪəns] noun agreement between the approaches to a topic of different academic subjects, especially science and the humanities. Derivatives consilient adjective Origin from con + L. silient , siliens jumping (as in resilient resilient),… …   English new terms dictionary

  • consilience — n. Concurrence, coincidence, conjuncture …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • consilience — con·sil·ience …   English syllables

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