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The Problem Of Reductionism In Science

Author : Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Logik und Philosophie der Wissenschaften. Colloquium
ISBN : UOM:39015024978853
Genre : Philosophy
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The topic to which this book is devoted is reductionism, and not reduction. The difference in the adoption of these two denominations is not, contrary to what might appear at first sight, just a matter of preference between a more abstract (reductionism) or a more concrete (reduction) terminology for indicating the same sUbject matter. In fact, the difference is that between a philosophical doctrine (or, perhaps, simply a philosophical tenet or claim) and a scientific procedure. Of course, this does not mean that these two fields are separated; they are only distinct, and this already means that they are also likely to be interrelated. However it is useful to consider them separately, if at least to better understand how and why they are interconnected. Just to give a first example of difference, we can remark that a philosophical doctrine is something which makes a claim and, as such, invites controversy and should, in a way, be challenged. A scientific procedure, on the other hand, is something which concretely exists, and as such must be first of all described, interpreted, understood, defined precisely and analyzed critically; this work may well lead to uncovering limitations of this procedure, or of certain ways of conceiving or defining it, but it does not lead to really challenging it.
Category: Philosophy

The Cultural Space Of The Arts And The Infelicities Of Reductionism

Author : Joseph Margolis
ISBN : NWU:35556040526519
Genre : Philosophy
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First words -- Piecemeal reductionism: a sense of the issue -- The new intentionalism -- Interlude: a glance at reductionism in the philosophy of mind -- Beardsley and the intentionalists -- Intentionalism's prospects -- A failed strategy.
Category: Philosophy

Reductionism In Drama And The Theatre

Author : Gerhard Hauck
ISBN : UOM:39015029153544
Genre : Literary Criticism
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A detailed examination of Beckett's dramas based on reductionist models in the arts and sciences. Various experimental aspects of composition and production are shown to reflect Beckett's search for a minimal theater of silence and inaction, as well as his epistemological uncertainty.
Category: Literary Criticism


Author : Professor and Chair in the Department of Psychology J Scott Jordan
ISBN : 0838754392
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 66.8 MB
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Reductionism's approach brings together many of the most interesting questions today in philosophy (consciousness and computers) and in science (issues of complexity and self-organization). It also presents a brief history of how reductionism has developed in Western philosophy and religion, with reference to Indian philosophy on certain issues.
Category: Philosophy

Beyond Reductionism

Author : Arthur Koestler
ISBN : 0807015350
Genre : Biology
File Size : 57.97 MB
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Category: Biology

Medical Reasoning

Author : Erwin B. Montgomery
ISBN : 9780190912925
Genre : Medical
File Size : 84.43 MB
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Modern medicine is one of humankind's greatest achievements.Yet today, frequent medical errors and irreproducibility in biomedical research suggest that tremendous challenges beset it. Understanding these challenges and trying to remedy them have driven considerable and thoughtful critical analyses, but the apparent intransigence of these problems suggests a different perspective is needed. Now more than ever, when we see options and opportunities for healthcare expanding while resources are diminishing, it is extremely important that healthcare professionals practice medicine wisely. In Medical Reasoning, neurologist Erwin B. Montgomery, Jr. offers a new and vital perspective. He begins with the idea that the need for certainty in medical decision-making has been the primary driving force in medical reasoning. Doctors must routinely confront countless manifestations of symptoms, diseases, or behaviors in their patients. Therefore, either there are as many different "diseases" as there are patients or some economical set of principles and facts can be combined to explain each patient's disease. The response to this epistemic conundrum has driven medicine throughout history: the challenge is to discover principles and facts and then to develop means to apply them to each unique patient in a manner that provides certainty. This book studies the nature of medical decision making systematically and rigorously in both an analytic and historical context, addressing medicine's unique need for certainty in the face of the enormous variety of diseases and in the manifestations of the same disease in different patients. The book also examines how the social, legal, and economic circumstances in which medical decision-making occurs greatly influence the nature of medical reasoning. Medical Reasoning is essential for those at the intersection of healthcare and philosophy.
Category: Medical

Religion And Reductionism

Author : Thomas A. Idinopulos
ISBN : 9004098704
Genre : Religion
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This volume focuses on the writings of Robert A. Segal and his defense of reductionism and criticism of Mircea Eliade's non-reductive interpretation of religion. Related questions on religion and reductionism are explored by major scholars of religion in major departments of religion in the United States and Canada.
Category: Religion

Reductionism And The Development Of Knowledge

Author : Terrance Brown
ISBN : 9781135639884
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 81.16 MB
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Among the many conceits of modern thought is the idea that philosophy, tainted as it is by subjective evaluation, is a shaky guide for human affairs. People, it is argued, are better off if they base their conduct either on know-how with its pragmatic criterion of truth (i.e., possibility) or on science with its universal criterion of rational necessity. Since Helmholtz, there has been increasing concern in the life sciences about the role of reductionism in the construction of knowledge. Is psychophysics really possible? Are biological phenomena just the deducible results of chemical phenomena? And if life can be reduced to molecular mechanisms only, where do these miraculous molecules come from, and how do they work? On a psychological level, people wonder whether psychological phenomena result simply from genetically hardwired structures in the brain or whether, even if not genetically determined, they can be identified with the biochemical processes of that organ. In sociology, identical questions arise. If physical or chemical reduction is not practicable, should we think in terms of other forms of reduction, say, the reduction of psychological to sociological phenomena or in terms of what Piaget has called the "reduction of the lower to the higher" (e.g., teleology)? All in all, then, reductionism in both naive and sophisticated forms permeates all of human thought and may, at least in certain cases, be necessary to it. If so, what exactly are those cases? The papers collected in this volume are all derived from the 29th Annual Symposium of the Jean Piaget Society. The intent of the volume is to examine the issue of reductionism on the theoretical level in several sciences, including biology, psychology, and sociology. A complementary intent is to examine it from the point of view of the practical effects of reductionistic doctrine on daily life.
Category: Psychology

Promises And Limits Of Reductionism In The Biomedical Sciences

Author : Marc H. V. Van Regenmortel
ISBN : 0471498505
Genre : Science
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Reductionism as a scientific methodology has been extraordinarily successful in biology. However, recent developments in molecular biology have shown that reductionism is seriously inadequate in dealing with the mind-boggling complexity of integrated biological systems. This title presents an appropriate balance between science and philosophy and covers traditional philosophical treatments of reductionism as well as the benefits and shortcomings of reductionism in particular areas of science. Discussing the issue of reductionism in the practice of medicine it takes into account the holistic and integrative aspects that require the context of the patient in his biological and psychological entirety. The emerging picture is that what first seems like hopeless disagreements turn out to be differences in emphasis. Although genes play an important role in biology, the focus on genetics and genomics has often been misleading. The consensus view leads to pluralism: both reductionst methods and a more integrative approach to biological complexity are required, depending on the questions that are asked. * An even balance of contributions from scientists and philosophers of science - representing a unique interchange between both communities interested in reductionism
Category: Science

Darwinian Reductionism

Author : Alexander Rosenberg
ISBN : 9780226727318
Genre : Science
File Size : 79.49 MB
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After the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953, scientists working in molecular biology embraced reductionism—the theory that all complex systems can be understood in terms of their components. Reductionism, however, has been widely resisted by both nonmolecular biologists and scientists working outside the field of biology. Many of these antireductionists, nevertheless, embrace the notion of physicalism—the idea that all biological processes are physical in nature. How, Alexander Rosenberg asks, can these self-proclaimed physicalists also be antireductionists? With clarity and wit, Darwinian Reductionism navigates this difficult and seemingly intractable dualism with convincing analysis and timely evidence. In the spirit of the few distinguished biologists who accept reductionism—E. O. Wilson, Francis Crick, Jacques Monod, James Watson, and Richard Dawkins—Rosenberg provides a philosophically sophisticated defense of reductionism and applies it to molecular developmental biology and the theory of natural selection, ultimately proving that the physicalist must also be a reductionist.
Category: Science

Reductionism Emergence And Levels Of Reality

Author : Sergio Chibbaro
ISBN : 9783319063614
Genre : Science
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Scientists have always attempted to explain the world in terms of a few unifying principles. In the fifth century B.C. Democritus boldly claimed that reality is simply a collection of indivisible and eternal parts or atoms. Over the centuries his doctrine has remained a landmark, and much progress in physics is due to its distinction between subjective perception and objective reality. This book discusses theory reduction in physics, which states that the whole is nothing more than the sum of its parts: the properties of things are directly determined by their constituent parts. Reductionism deals with the relation between different theories that address different levels of reality, and uses extrapolations to apply that relation in different sciences. Reality shows a complex structure of connections, and the dream of a unified interpretation of all phenomena in several simple laws continues to attract anyone with genuine philosophical and scientific interests. If the most radical reductionist point of view is correct, the relationship between disciplines is strictly inclusive: chemistry becomes physics, biology becomes chemistry, and so on. Eventually, only one science, indeed just a single theory, would survive, with all others merging in the Theory of Everything. Is the current coexistence of different sciences a mere historical venture which will end when the Theory of Everything has been established? Can there be a unified description of nature? Rather than an analysis of full reductionism, this book focuses on aspects of theory reduction in physics and stimulates reflection on related questions: is there any evidence of actual reduction? Are the examples used in the philosophy of science too simplistic? What has been endangered by the search for (the) ultimate truth? Has the dream of reductionist reason created any monsters? Is big science one such monster? What is the point of embedding science Y within science X, if predictions cannot be made on that basis?
Category: Science


Author : Alastair I. M. Rae
ISBN : 9781780742557
Genre : Science
File Size : 66.77 MB
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An unparalleled introduction to how the science of the small explains the biggest phenomena of life From the atom to our societies, this is an unparalleled introduction to how the science of the small explains the biggest phenomena of life. Ever since the ancient Greeks conceived of the atom, humans have sought the smallest ingredients of existence. In the past century, the use of reductionism to understand behaviour has gained momentum as the quantum universe and the workings of the human mind have been uncovered in particle colliders and fMRI scanners. Acclaimed physicist Alastair I.M. Rae spells out how the powerful tool of reductionism works, from the level of subatomic particles, up through molecular chemistry, and beyond to our neural networks. How does physics explain consciousness? Can quantum mechanics be applied to the brain or mind? What can economists learn from reductionism? Rae’s exploration is an indispensable guide to one of the most fundamental ideas of science.
Category: Science

Semiological Reductionism

Author : M. C. Dillon
ISBN : 079142376X
Genre : Philosophy
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This critical interpretation shows Derridian thought to be permeated by a semiology that reduces all meaning to the signification of signs thus challenging the philosophy of deconstruction at its roots.
Category: Philosophy

The Limits Of Reductionism In Biology

Author : Gregory R. Bock
ISBN : 9780470515495
Genre : Science
File Size : 54.65 MB
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A comprehensive volume examining the fundamental questions raised by reductionists' theory about levels of explanation necessary to understand biological systems. The book evaluates the enormously powerful techniques of molecular biology, and analyzes precisely how molecular information has improved our understanding of fundamental biological processes.
Category: Science

Beyond Determinism And Reductionism

Author : Mark L. Y. Chan
ISBN : 1920691014
Genre : Religion
File Size : 55.5 MB
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This new volume in ATF Press's Science and Theology series assesses the impact of genetic science and stem cell research on the Christian understanding of the human person.
Category: Religion