Questions tagged [reductionism]

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Under reductive materialism, could the same brain state evoke distinct conscious experiences (qualia) in two universes within a multiverse?

For the sake of discussion, let's grant the validity of reductive materialism. Moreover, let's entertain the notion that our universe is just one among an infinite (or significantly vast) number of ...
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Reductionism from a philosophical viewpoint

Reductionism is the idea that knowledge at a higher level can be deduced from the entities and their interaction at a lower level. E.g. the claim that the properties of molecules can be deduced from ...
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Do we breakdown an explanation of the world into reductionism and holism?

We breakdown the world with an explanation of the truth, in having two schools of approach, the reductionist approach and the holistic approach. Is there another approach? Will both approaches arrive ...
8Mad0Manc8's user avatar
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What's the difference between supervenience and reduction?

From IEP, supervenience is defined as follows: F, supervenes on a class of properties, G, just in case there is no difference in F-properties without some difference in G-properties. My question is, ...
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Are we lost in the details?

A hypothesis. https://theworld.org/stories/2021-05-20/imagining-gaia-earth-one-great-living-organism Simply put, the Gaia hypothesis says that Earth is a living system and uses similar mechanisms that ...
Ioannis Paizis's user avatar
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Physics and the question of context or environment

This is a reality check type of question. I am interested in whether it's a valid distinction and whether it's been considered by others. It occured to me the other day that the issue of 'context' or '...
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Topdown bottom up reductionism emergentism

My question is how reductionism and emergentism/holistic related/same as to top-down bottom-up approach ? Please give me reference if possible Certainly, here's a table with 10 examples from various ...
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Are the concepts of reductionism and first principles the same?

Are reductionism and foundationalism(first principle)the same thing, or at least highly similar even if different? The first-principles approach is the same as deducing all knowledge claims from ...
quanity's user avatar
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On thermodynamics being fundamental?

Are there philosophers who argue that thermodynamics (where time does have a direction) is the more fundamental theory as opposed to normal Newtonian mechanics and it's extensions? For example, I can ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
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Under metaphysical naturalism, does everything boil down to Physics?

If metaphysical naturalism is true, would that mean that Physics is the ultimate discipline that can sufficiently explain everything, and that all other disciplines, including Chemistry, Biology, ...
Mark's user avatar
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Why did phenomenalism fall out of favour in analytic philosophy?

Modern analytic philosophy proposes various reductionist projects to reduce phenomenal terms (like redness e.t.c) into physical terms (like neural-states, functional states e.t.c) such as for example, ...
katten elvis's user avatar
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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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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 ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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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 ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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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 ...
J D's user avatar
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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 ...
Philo102's user avatar
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What are some examples of things that are ontologically parasitic

To be ontologically parasitic, a thing must exist only in reference to another thing. For example, in the excellent video "How Many Holes Does a Human Have?", holes are identified as ontologically ...
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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 ...
Willie Betmore's user avatar
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2 answers
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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 ...
Willie Betmore's user avatar
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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.
Jan's user avatar
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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 ...
Shandy's user avatar
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2 answers
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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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3 votes
0 answers
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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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5 votes
4 answers
299 views

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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8 answers
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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 ...
BlowMaMind's user avatar
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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'...
Zirui Wang's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
105 views

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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4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
viuser's user avatar
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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 ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
Apodictic Apple Juice's user avatar
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3 answers
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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 ...
Bram Vanroy's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
kondeusz's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
337 views

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 ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
199 views

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 ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
533 views

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 ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
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1 answer
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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=-...
Xoum's user avatar
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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 ...
Arnon Weinberg's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
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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?
metric-space's user avatar
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4 answers
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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?
Bob's user avatar
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