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Topic: Reductionism

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In the News (Tue 23 Jul 19)

  Reductionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Reductionism is often understood to imply the unity of science.
Methodological reductionism is the idea that explanations of things, such as scientific explanations, ought to be continually reduced to the very simplest entities possible (but no simpler).
Theoretical reductionism is the idea that older theories or explanations are not generally replaced outright by new ones, but that new theories are refinements or reductions of the old theory into more efficacious forms with greater detail and explanatory power.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Reductionism   (722 words)

 Reductionism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-21)
Reductionism is a view that asserts that entities of a given kind are collections or combinations of entities of a simpler or more basic kind or that expressions denoting such entities are definable in terms of expressions denoting the more basic entities.
The logical positivist version of reductionism also implies the unity of science insofar as the definability of the theoretical entities of the various sciences in terms of the observable would constitute the common basis of all scientific laws.
Although this version of reductionism is no longer widely accepted, primarily because of the difficulty of giving a satisfactory characterization of the distinction between theoretical and observational statements in science, the question of the reducibility of one science to another remains controversial.
abyss.uoregon.edu /~js/glossary/reductionism.html   (229 words)

 Greedy reductionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Greedy reductionism is a term coined by Daniel Dennett, in the book Darwin's Dangerous Idea, to distinguish between acceptable and erroneous forms of reductionism.
Whereas reductionism means explaining a thing in terms of what it reduces to, greedy reductionism comes when the thing we are trying to understand is explained away instead of explained, so that we fail to gain any additional understanding of the original target.
C.S. Lewis coined the term 'nothing buttery', which is synonymous with greedy reductionism (though he used it specifically to counter the reductionism of materialism).
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Greedy_reductionism   (479 words)

Reductionism does not hold the answers to the questions that should be asked about the mind as it leads to an infinite reducibility.
A third argument against reductionism in the pursuit of understanding the mind is its emphasis on isolating both the parts of the mind and the mind itself.
Karl Schmitz-Moormann warns against reductionism and that the mind is not thought of as simply a “helpful structure for the continuing life of humankind,” but that “[it is] also the stored experiences of the human mind: the possibilities opened up by the emergence of the human mind and the new human experiences” (256).
www.cord.edu /faculty/steinwan/nv13_narum.htm   (3594 words)

 Reductionism vs
Reductionism has long been a characteristic of the behavioral technology used in the education and treatment of persons with disabilities, and especially those persons with the most severe disabilities (Sailor, Gee, Goetz, and Graham, 1988).
Reductionism is based on the principle that the whole is, after all, no more than the sum of its parts.
Reductionism was once a major attribute in the scientific pursuit of knowledge in almost all disciplines, commensurate with operational derivations from classical Newtonian mechanics; that is, a better understanding of natural phenomenon is achieved with increased detail about the constituent parts that comprise it.
faculty.tamu-commerce.edu /zelhart/chaos/chaos05.htm   (1342 words)

 On Reductionism
Reductionism collapses (or reduces) the higher level of meaning and being into the lower level of elemental parts; when this collapse occurs what is left is not the whole but its parts.
Reductionism -- the skeptical and hostile attitude of the modern mind to the traditional image of man -- destroys those comprehensive entities (meaningful wholes) necessary to man's humanity: it "reduces" certain key concepts (entities): 'person', 'tradition', 'community', 'speech', 'action', and others to the particulars in which these entities are rooted.
Reductionism then becomes a crypto-religion -- an implicit metaphysics -- grafted onto or parasitically feeding upon the growth and prestige of science while the true goal of the reductionism (the latent metaphysics) lies beyond science.
smith2.sewanee.edu /texts/Ecology/OnReductionism.html   (2860 words)

 Concepts: Reductionism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-21)
Reductionism is an approach to building descriptions of systems out of the descriptions of the subsystems that a system is composed of, and ignoring the relationships between them.
Some consider this reductionist because it is difficult to obtain macroscopically relevant information from this approach, or because this approach is not practical, others because of the notion of strong emergence, that there is more to a system than the specification of parts and their relationships.
The mathematics of reductionism is, at its most basic, the use of fractions which holds that dividing and multiplying are opposites.
necsi.org /guide/concepts/reductionism.html   (300 words)

 Wikinfo | Reductionism
Reductionism in philosophy describes a number of related, contentious theories that hold, very roughly, that the nature of complex things can always be reduced to (explained by) simpler or more fundamental things.
Methodological reductionism is the idea that explanations of things, such as scientific explanations, ought to be continually reduced to the very simplest entities possible.
Theoretical reductionism is the idea that older theories or explanations are not generally replaced outright by new ones, but that new theories are refinements or reductions of the old theory in greater detail.
www.wikinfo.org /wiki.php?title=Reductionism   (328 words)

 Holistic Medicine or Orthodox Medicine and Reductionism?
Reductionism is not just the fundamental philosophy upon which modern medicine is based, but further, it determines the scientific parameters within which this form of medicine is rigidly confined.
Put another way, reductionism may be defined thus: reductionism is the practice of attempting to understand and simplify an observable phenomena or a biological process by deliberately excluding more and more relevant data until the eventual explanation which is arrived at is so mutually exclusive that it is maximally disconnected from reality.
Reductionism has created a medical system which is predominantly suited to the treatment of acute or life threatening illnesses or trauma.
www.holistichealthtopics.com /HMG/holistic.html   (13006 words)

 The Paradox of Reductionism
Reductionism, sometimes called "nothing-but-ism", claims that the entire significance of the tapestry is nothing but the direct consequence of the fibers; changing the fibers changes the significance.
Reductionism is an attempt to maintain explanations in terms of a single level of abstraction, the most 'objective'.
Reductionism denies that which is abstracted from the 'stuff' by claiming it is nothing but the 'stuff' (perhaps in a disguised form).
www.xenodochy.org /philosophy/porquine.html   (3143 words)

 John Gregg: Reductionism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-21)
Now, sometimes reductionism means methodological reductionism, which is simply the practice of analyzing things in terms of their components.
Reductionism combined with deterministic physicalism results in the claim that if you knew the exact initial conditions of the universe, and knew the true laws of physics, you could, in principle, predict everything that would ever happen during the lifetime of the universe, including the fall of the Roman empire and the Gettysburg Address.
Even in a universe in which reductionism is absolutely true, the physical world is hugely complex, and its complexities explode out of control very quickly in a chaotic fashion without any hope of being modeled at the low levels by beings with cognitive limitations like us.
home.comcast.net /~johnrgregg/reductio.htm   (2716 words)

 Reductionism in the Study of Religion
In the study of religion, reductionism is often cast in the role of the villain, enemy of an empathetic emic (user-centred evaluation; Harris 1979:32-45) study of religion.
Reductionism is an essential preparatory stage in the study of religion in the context of a university.
Reductionism is a way of understanding religion's transcendent subjects in terms of their natural roots in human life.
www.ucalgary.ca /~eslinger/pub/reduc.html   (4355 words)

 Radical Reductionism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-21)
Radical reductionism is based upon a pair of axioms that have come to seem intuitively self-evident to the writer, but just "how" they are true will doubtless be the ground of science into the indefinite future.
What we now suggest is that radical reductionism reveals "the order of order." This is the stereoscopic effect, or wordless depth perception that arises from the analytic- synthetic process in the same way that we "know" the direction from which sounds come, or that we "know" the depth of our visual field.
Radical reductionism, on the other hand, penetrates this hiatus, stating that the picture of increasingly large big bangs is by no means a terminal concept, but simply the expression of a yet-higher abstract.
www.eskimo.com /~jsjnson/RADICAL_REDUCTIONISM.htm   (1332 words)

 Cyclic Defrost - Issue #009 (November 2004) - Old School/New School in Experimental Music and Sound Art
“Reductionism” suggests, in a very simple sense, limiting the music to fewer events per minute; it is then akin to “minimalism”.
Or have the those who coined “reductionism” missed some of the links that make the tradition an evolutionary continuum Or, if you want to sell a few more Cds and create a profile is it advantageous to “hype-up” a new movement.
Whether reductionism is a good term for this is, in science or music, debatable.
www.cyclicdefrost.com /article.php?article=722   (4153 words)

 ISAR - Reductionism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-21)
Reductionism is the process of reducing complex things to their smallest parts rather than looking at them as a whole.
In biology, reductionism fosters the belief that our behavior can be explained by studying the molecules and atoms that make up our DNA, rather than examining the whole animal in its environment.
While there is no doubt that we have much to gain from molecular biology, the reductionists often lose sight of the forest in their zeal to examine the molecules in the twigs.
www.ferris.edu /htmls/OTHERSRV/ISAR/bios/cattell/reduce.htm   (311 words)

 MT14. Reductionism and Emergence in Chessworld and our World   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-21)
Reductionism is more of a bugbear than a buzzword, having long since lost its Laplacian glamour.
The core of reductionism can be positively expressed as making a constructive claim about our world’s fundamental physics – that the wonderful and complicated features of the natural world can be built out physical rules.
The negative complaints of some of reductionism’s advocates that reality is “nothing but” the most basic of its rules are quite contrary to the constructive, model-building reality of reductive science.
www.ksharpe.com /word/mt14.htm   (2387 words)

 DISF - Interdisciplinary Encyclopaedia of Religion and Science | Reductionism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-21)
Reductionism of this kind is closely related to methodological reductionism, the widely practised scientific strategy of studying wholes through breaking them up into their constituent parts.
A second type of reductionism may be called conceptual reductionism, in which it is claimed that the concepts applicable to the whole can be totally expressed in terms of concepts applying to the parts.
An example of a successful reduction of this kind is afforded by the use of the kinetic theory of gases to reduce the concept of temperature (originating in the thermodynamics of bulk matter) to exact equivalence to the average kinetic energy of the molecules of the gas.
www.disf.org /en/Voci/104.asp   (3143 words)

 Physics, Reductionism, and the Real World - Physics Today March 2006
Ellis's statement about reductionism is analogous to saying "the hypothesis that marbles will be blue in the year 1 billion AD" has no predictive power.
Ellis then says, "Everyday experience suggests that such a belief [complete reductionism] is wrong." But as he has already pointed out, we use different models and different language to simplify and understand phenomena at different levels of the hierarchy.
So whether or not complete reductionism is true, we would not expect the language and ideas of one level to adapt themselves well to phenomena of another.
www.physicstoday.org /vol-59/iss-3/p12.html   (853 words)

 How science combats complexity - synthetic analysis
Reductionism is a major point of contention in the philosophy of science.
Its chief proponent is logical positivism, which promotes “the unity of science,” a kind of imperial unity in which a set of universal principles governs all science, just as the laws of Rome governed many lands.
It is possible to connect theories for complex systems and theories for their constituents, but the connection is far more complicated than the simplistic prescription of reductionism.
www.creatingtechnology.org /papers/complexity.htm   (4103 words)

 Reductionism: A Dumb Definition
Reductionism gives primacy to complex explanations that are unleavened by common sense metaphors, or in other words, the devil is in the details because the details are all that count.
For example, a reductionist explanation of a head cold uses molecular biochemical and microbiological terms, but ignores integrating the metaphors of viruses and germs with the
Unfortunately, a fear of reductionism is used as an alibi for not learning how things work, thus arriving at models of the mind that ignore reductionistic metaphors and replace them with irreducible metaphors (e.g.
www.homestead.com /flowstate/Dreductionism.html   (132 words)

 Practical consequences of reductionism   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-21)
If one tried to say that both Reductionism and the Extreme Claim are true (really true, not just assumed to be true for the sake of argument, as in the previous paragraph), then I think there would be trouble.
In its moderate version, Reductionism tells you that it may make sense to describe a case as involving two persons, or, weaker still, that it may make sense to think about a case as if it involved two different persons.
Another thing Reductionism does is resolve ideas that we have already that seem to be in tension with one another.
humanities.uchicago.edu /faculty/mgreen/PersIdF99/Notes/rPracConsRed.html   (1020 words)

 Reductionism in the Psychology of the Eighties: Can Biochemistry Eliminate Addiction, Mental Illness, and Pain?
Reductionism is the point of view that human behavior can successfully be resolved into its biological components, components that may then in turn be described as chemical and electrical events.
Reductionism is not itself a theory, since it does not present testable hypotheses that tend either to support or to disprove it.
The extent of the rise in contemporary reductionism is indicated by the amount—and kind—of coverage that biochemical research on human behavior receives in the mass media, including our most respected mass circulation periodicals.
www.peele.net /lib/reduct.html   (8163 words)

 Technological Determinism: Reductionism
Reductionism contrasts with 'holism', which is broadly concerned with the whole phenomenon and with complex interactions within it rather than with the study of isolated parts.
Theory-making always requires simplification, and reductionism has proved useful in the natural sciences, but reductionism is widely criticized as a way of approaching social phenomena.
It is impossible to isolate a single cause for any social process and to prove that it is the primary determinant (for instance, it is highly problematic to isolate the potential cognitive influences of literacy from those of schooling).
www.aber.ac.uk /media/Documents/tecdet/tdet03.html   (910 words)

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