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 ?
First, nonreductionists argue that the multiple realizability of moral properties defeats reductionism. I solve multiple realizability in ethics by identifying moral properties uniquely or disjunctively with special science properties.
In Chapter 10 Bishop explains how the social sciences and humanities have also attempted to reform biomedical reductionism, arguing that each "has failed because it assumes or has been subsumed into the same biomedical paradigm it set out to reform" (263).
What can we learn from the way of science about reductionism regarding the way of Jesus?
(8) Mayr calls our attention to an insuperable problem for those who advocate biological reductionism: namely, living organisms possess properties that are very different from those of the nonliving constituents of the organisms; and organisms are not mere aggregates of their parts and constituents, but are and act as unified wholes.
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.
The "diverse" evidence reflects a "complex" practice that refuses any reductionism. Louis Feldman offers a careful survey of materials from the period of Josephus and concludes that Antisemitism was neither broad nor deep but that Jews were often admired.
Goodman uses a no-self premise (but not on mereological grounds) in his argument against free will, since the 1980s Siderits has been attempting an increasingly nuanced articulation of the implications between the concepts of free will, determinism, and the self, (5) by reference to the theory of "Buddhist Reductionism" that he has extrapolated from the early Buddhist doctrine of "two truths" (conventional and ultimate), a bifurcation paralleled in Western philosophy of science.
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.
She discusses themes related to modern science, like the formation of physical-mathematical intelligibility, from Galilean mechanics and the origin of dynamics to quantum theory, the question of biological reductionism, and the power relations present in the social and behavioral sciences, arguing for practices that take into account how scientific knowledge evolves, their constraints and obligations, and their impact on the sciences and beyond.
It strives to find the balance between the reductionism and scepticism of a biomedical approach to healing and that of the instinctive, holistic herbalist who holds a strong belief in nature's curative powers.