Questions tagged [reductionism]

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Who has defended a non-causal (emanationist) concept of strong emergence, compatible with reductionism?

Often in debates about emergence, an opposition is set up between (strong) emergence and reductionism. These are seen as incompatible alternatives. In particular, if one believes in downward causation ...
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Hard stuff made easy?

There is a philosophical assumption, inspired by educational didactics, which consists of thinking that any concept, no matter how intricate, can be presented in simple words and easily understood if ...
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Non-random indeterminism in physicalist reductionism?

In lectures on free will, often a dichotomy between determinism and random is alluded. This dichotomy always is not a true dichotomy, there are some known and even trivial examples of non-random ...
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Multiple Realizability and Semantics

Multiple realisability is described in this thread. MR is generally regarded as a persuasive argument against brain-mind identity theories, because if a single state (say, pain) can be realised in ...
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What are the missing pieces that prevents us from deriving the laws of chemistry from physics?

What are the missing pieces that prevents us from deriving the laws of chemistry from physics? People say it's emergent properties, but it's hard to believe that there are emergent properties between ...
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Does rejecting reductionism absolutely imply that you accept the existence of emergent properties?

Does rejecting reductionism absolutely imply that you accept the existence of emergent properties? Or is there an alternative explanation to emergent properties? By reductionism, I mean the belief ...
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References for books/papers about emergentism and reductionism

I am trying to look for resources to deepen some topics presented in this workshop Moving Naturalism Forward. Especially the point on emergence (and secondarily on evolution and determinism, but here ...
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What does "reductionism does not imply constructionism" mean?

In their famous 1976 paper, Marr and Poggio start out by saying: Complex systems, like a nervous system or a developing embryo, must be analyzed and understood at several different levels. Of course, ...
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What is it called when two theories ultimately become one theory in science?

I am trying to think of an example of scientific explanation whose scope was in fact broader than we initially thought. The idea would be the following: Initially, we used H (the explanation) to ...
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Are there examples of the narrowing scope of scientific explanations?

I am trying to think of an example of scientific explanation whose scope was in fact more limited than we initially thought. The idea would be the following: Initially, we used H (the explanation) to ...
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Are there any scholarly books on the topic of “reductionism”?

By “reductionism” I mean a general tendency for people to make false assertions, inferences or extrapolations because they assume some situation is based on certain mechanisms or can be modeled in a ...
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Does good chess strategy reduce to the rules of the game?

I've been trying to understand what is meant by words like reduction and reductionism in different contexts. Being somewhat scientifically minded, I enthusiastically embrace reduction as a strategy ...
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Which kind of physics does everything reduce to?

I don't know whether the proper term is Physicalism or Physical Reductionism (it's Reductive Physicalism--thank you, Conifold), but what I'm referring to is the position that everything reduces to ...
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This is a question of ethics

Few thousand years ago two Indian schools carvakas and Ajivikas challenged Karma doctrine , as there was no good or bad deeds and no reward or punishment , Is there any Western thought similar to this ...
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How can complex material systems emerge in ways that allow them to transcend fundamental material structures?

One of the quandaries of reductionism from what I understand is how complex systems can emerge to overtake simple ones. This may sound convoluted, so bear with me as I try to explain. According to a ...
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What is Quine’s reductionism?

I am especially interested in how reductionism is related to the fact that even though science broadly comprehends a number of subjects, physics is paradigmatic.
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Can reductive explanation transcend human understanding?

This is more of a terminology question regarding the definition of reductive explanation. Suppose that it turned out there is a reductive explanation for consciousness to the physical, but the ...
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Is emergentism incompatible with reductionism?

I've read, on several occasions, that emergentism is maybe not all the way contrasted but at least to some degree conflicted with reductionism. As I understand, emergentism is a doctrine within ...
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Does it make sense to say that consciousness does not exist or there is no such thing?

Does it make sense to say that consciousness does not exist or there is no such thing? I've not taken any classes in reductionism, but it seems reductionst. How would philosophy of mind and ...
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Is the study of IQ an example of greedy reductionism?

Is the study of IQ an example of greedy reductionism? greedy reductionism occurs when "in their eagerness for a bargain, in their zeal to explain too much too fast, scientists and philosophers ....
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Is the concept of emergence sufficient in blocking reductionism?

Is emergence the only avenue to follow in order to successfully short-cirquit full reductionist explanations? What other recourse does one have to avoid full-fledged reductionism without risking ...
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Is reductionism in conflict with our sense of awe and wonder?

To accuse science of robbing life of the warmth that makes it worth living is so preposterously mistaken, so diametrically opposite to my own feelings and those of most working scientists, I am almost ...
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Is Antireductionism a scientific position?

I read in Wikipedia: Antireductionism is a philosophical and scientific position that ... It seems to me that Antireductionism cannot be a scientific position as it is in direct conflict with ...
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Is philosophy computation?

If philosophy is mathematics and mathematics is computation, can I conclude that philosophy is computation? Can we axiomatize philosophy? Can a computer think for us, given the current rise of AI? I'...
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Are we "realists" about something we think reduces to something mind dependent?

Are we "realists" about something we think reduces to something mind dependent? I assumed not, due to reduction meaning that there is only that reduced to thing. If you read this article, when moral ...
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Reductionism and Parmenides

Though I thought about it multiple times, I never understood Parmenides' argument for the impossibility of change. Now studying Aristotle's Physics, it popped up again and I still have the same ...
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If a physical property is emergent, can it still be artificially recreated?

Let's assume that a physical property is emergent, in the sense that it cannot be reduced to a function of the properties of its components. Can such a property be artificially recreated, or is that a ...
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What are the problems with reductionism?

It seems intuitive to me to think that if there is a basic substance or building block of nature (e.g. fermions and leptons, etc.), then all facts regarding entities comprised of that substance are ...
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Nonreductionist supervenience

I'm currently reading Kim's The Mind-Body Problem after Fifty Years which tries to summarise how the MB problem has evolved and been approached the past few decades. One of the very important terms ...
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What are the relations between supervenience, grounding and emergence in philosophy of science?

So, I am wondering if anyone could help me with the notions of grounding (supervenience?) and emergence in the modern discussions in philosophy of science. What are they and what is the relation ...
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Can a materialist accept indeterminism? Can a reductionist?

The usual argument against it is that if behavior of matter is not fully determined by its state then it has to be determined by something else, ergo dualism. This begs the question however, unless we ...
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Does logical positivism necessarily entail reductionism?

I always assumed that Logical Positivism and reductionism went hand in hand, and that refutations of LP automatically made the case for reductionism weaker. My reasoning was: if only empirically ...
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Computational intractability and reductionism?

It seems straightforward to argue that if the variables of one physical (or biological) theory A are shown to be uncomputable (in the Turing sense) as a function of the variables of another physical ...
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Does the Church-Turing-Deutsch principle (i.e the physical version of the Church-Turing thesis) imply reductionism?

In the following I am not considering substance dualism or idealism, but only materialist/physicalist theories. The Church-Turing thesis states: Every ‘function which would naturally be regarded ...
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Hierarchical Reductionism vs Emergentism [closed]

How does Hierarchical Reductionism (as coined by Richard Dawkins) differ from Emergentism exactly? Edit: Dawkins' definition of hierarchical reductionism: https://books.google.fr/books?id=-...
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Is there a term for materialistic non-determinism?

I was trying to explain to someone that an underlying assumption of science is ... and then couldn't come up with a term to describe it. What I'm hoping to give a name to, is the idea that the world ...
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Is there an economic philosophy that is dualistic?

In classical economics its obvious that the philosophical model followed is inspired by both physics in its reductionism and biology to a primary notion - that of self-interest. This self-interest ...
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How exactly does antireductionism undermine the scientific method?

I was reading a wikipedia article on Antireductionism. What I cannot understand is how exactly does antireductionism undermine the "scientific method" to a certain degree?
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What's the difference between "emergence" and "reductionism"?

Isn't a system, which emerged from simpler system also reducible to the simpler system? More general, is emergence the reverse term to reducitionism?
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Who was to first to apply the reductionist hypothesis to science?

I don't have much background in philosophy, but I recently read an interesting paper about "emergence" (Anderson, 1972). In that paper, Anderson relates to the "reductionist" hypothesis. When and by ...
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3 votes
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Are there purely-mathematics-based explanations of existence?

I'm asking for the name of a philosophy and any authors, books, or articles that explore a particular philosophy. The philosophy is motivated in part by a question of, "in what is our universe/...
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11 votes
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Is reductionism the primary means of logical analysis in analytic philosophy?

I was reading a philosophical article about analytic philosophy and I saw the claim: Russell and many philosophers influenced by him asserted that complex statements can be reduced to simple ...
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