reductionism

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reductionism

the doctrine that, either in practice or in principle, the propositions of one science can be explained in terms of the propositions of another, e.g. the reduction of chemistry to physics, or the reduction of sociology to psychology.

The contrasting doctrine is that particular sciences may be irreducible to other sciences. For Durkheim, for example, social reality is an ‘emergent’ reality, a reality sui generis irreducible to other sciences such as psychology. Similarly, those sociologists who emphasize human meanings as the basis of social explanations also see this level of analysis as irreducible. In practice, the relationships between the sciences are complex, with no pattern, or view of the pattern, of these relationships being in the ascendancy. Sometimes the subject matter of one science can be illuminated by analogies with, or reduction to, another; at other times attempted reductions of analogies will be misplaced or misleading. See also HIERARCHY OF THE SCIENCES.

References in periodicals archive ?
His emphasis on positivism and biological reductionism is rather surprising; it may be that our different training (counselor education, marriage and family therapy vs.
It could have been destined to be the only challenger to the hegemony of biological reductionism in psychiatry.
It is also a little surprising to see in the discussion on naturalizing gender the absence of any reference to critical ecofeminism and ecopolitics (especially Val Plumwood's work) in terms of the intersection of contemporary debates on gender and re-thinking nature/culture relations beyond biological reductionism.
In contrast to this kind of biological reductionism, Virginia Woolf argued in the pacifist-feminism text, Three Guineas in 1937, that men and women are really different.
Even before this book, Fukuyama had revealed a tendency to biological reductionism.
Biological reductionism has been defined as "explanations of phenomena occurring at several levels (e.
Another reason is the rapid growth in Western society of an overarching philosophy of what is known as biological reductionism.
Alas, in the past few years such simplistic biological reductionism has tapped a media nerve, with the result that, among many Americans, schlock genetics has become the default explanation for every aspect of human behavior from homosexuality to male promiscuity, from depression to "criminality.

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