Replacement and Expansion in Scientific Imperialism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper overviews recent, and not so recent, contributions to the literature on scientific imperialism. Two common reasons why imperialism is thought to be illicit are identified. One relies on failed expansion, or generalisation, the other on the imperialising discipline to replace viable alternatives. These are labeled type-I and type-II imperial- ist failures respectively. It is argued that these failures are independent of one another, although not mutually exclu- sive. It is argued that type-II failures are generally more serious but that in order to make sense of them one will have to give the boundaries of the context in which replacement takes place. The closing sections of the paper provides a discussion on an issue often overlooked in contemporary literature, namely what resistance to imperialism really amounts to.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Interdisciplinarity, Unification, Scientific imperialism
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Epistemology
Publication statusSubmitted - 2015
Publication categoryResearch