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 ?
What can we learn from the way of Jesus about reductionism present in the way of science?
A heavy price was paid for molecular biology's obsession with metaphysical reductionism.
Given that starting point, reductionism and eliminativism are bound to seem the only serious options and "emergentism" a dodge.
Under the fetal rights reductionism model of obstetric ethics, fetal rights systematically override the pregnant woman's rights.
Reductionism in metaethics is the idea that, to put it rather roughly, the moral just is something else.
Siderits admits that his view is not necessarily "the" view Buddhists have articulated on the subject, and he has stated that the doctrine of Buddhist Reductionism that supports paleo-compatibilism is "the view of persons systematically worked out in the Abhidharma schools" (Persons 14).
Alister Chapman points to the promise offered by Skinner's approach in appreciating the place of belief in societies where, as in undeniably secular Britain of the last half-century, religion has become a marginal, minority component of the culture, subjected to the "secular overreach" of interpretive elites too readily inclined toward the default settings of social scientific reductionism and linguistic indeterminism.
Scientific reductionism appeared to be central to psychopharmacology research and practice.
For instance, she approached the problem of mind-body from a scientific perspective and claimed that reductionism is the solution to that problem.
It is my opinion that such thinking is the result of mechanical reductionism and, more than a scientific concept, expresses the metaphysical belief of the author.
Reductionism is the idea that you can learn about big, complicated systems by taking apart the components that make them up, studying them, and then applying what you have learned to the system as a whole.
Hoagland successfully describes reductionism using Dodson's illustration of a Russian doll as it relates to the importance of understanding the whole by learning about its individual parts.