DOI link for Introduction
Scientific imperialism inspires a number of compelling and stimulating questions for philosophers of science, and science studies scholars more generally. The study of scientific imperialism calls for a more sophisticated and detailed analysis of interdisciplinary relations, and aims to achieve a more nuanced account of the pros and cons, the benefits and harms, of interdisciplinary interactions. A choice was made to maintain, particularly with respect to the interdisciplinary dimensions of scientific imperialism, coherence among the papers and to make a focused contribution to its philosophical analysis. The chapter identifies five core aspects of scientific imperialism as the common threads among the papers, these being: definition, categorization, mechanism, identification and assessment/evaluation. Cases of scientific imperialism might be triggered by a variety of epistemic aims, such as reductionism, unification, scientific progress and problem-solving. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.