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.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
This problem actually affects a broad class of reductionist accounts, for the culprit is the assumption that chance is reducible to the complete arrangement of categorical facts throughout the entire history of the world, regardless of the particulars of the reductive mechanism and the nature of the base for reduction.
Caiazza then turns to the second great reductionist project of modern times, the dream of a kind of cosmic Darwinism that would explain all the world's phenomena, including human thought and intuition, by means of natural selection, with its combination of brute, mindless processes and the tautologous logic of the survival of the fittest.
I applaud the editors' efforts to look critically at psychology's reductionist stance of personhood and to consider alternate ways of studying humans besides the empiricist approach.
Due to some political positions and individual agenda, it is common for observers to view Islamism using reductionist lenses.
The Buddhist Reductionist can claim we hit rock bottom when we arrive at trope-quanta, the first micro-level populated by homogeneous entities, because further divisions only exist mathematically/conceptually, and Buddhist ultimate reality is what exists independent of our conceptualizations.
We started this review by referring not just to "reductionist free market ideology," but also to "reductionist positivism." (By "reductionist," we mean theories that over-simplify by leaving out much that should be considered.) Fox doesn't explore the broader background, but we can recall that a desire to apply scientific method to social issues was a major focus within German universities, and particularly within the German Historical School, in the second half of the nineteenth century.
However, no matter how Barthelemy reached his conclusions, it is difficult not to agree that a reductionist view that neatly ties up answers about questions in medieval society is doing an injustice to the period.
* Do multidisciplinary pain clinics continue to relegate psychological pain treatment to second tier therapy once physiological reductionist treatments have proven inadequate?
Marek Oziewicz's book addresses what he takes to be "a serious lack in modern literary criticism"--specifically, the trend of using what he refers to as "reductionist" rather than holistic criticism to approach fantasy (4).
The theoretical concept underlying RCTs is the fundament of this reductionist approach: Patients, diseases and therapies must be strictly categorised and inclusion and exclusion criteria defined.
In Chapter 1, 'Orienting Perspectives', Larson and Marsh begin by providing an overview of traditional reductionist approaches to literacy education.
The discovery of ring species such as the Larus gulls described above, (the Californian Ensatina salamanders or the Himalayan Greenish Warblers) challenges the reductionist notion of species.