Pragmatic holism (or pragmatic reductionism)

Foundations of Science 4 (1):57-82 (1999)
The reductionist/holist debate is highly polarised. I propose an intermediate position of pragmatic holism. It derives from two claims: firstly, that irrespective of whether all natural systems are theoretically reducible, for many systems it is utterly impractical to attempt such a reduction, and secondly, that regardless of whether irreducible 'wholes exist, it is vain to try and prove this. This position illuminates the debate along new pragmatic lines by refocussing attention on the underlying heuristics of learning about the natural world.
Keywords pragmatism  holism  reductionism  modelling  proof  heuristics  learning  reduction  philosophy  science
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1009642920187
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,675
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder (2014). Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
Peter Achinstein (1984). The Pragmatic Character of Explanation. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:275 - 292.
Simon Woods (1998). A Theory of Holism for Nursing. Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy 1 (3):255-261.
Bruce Edmonds (1996). Pragmatic Holism. Foundations of Science 4 (1):57-82.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

37 ( #118,512 of 2,239,179 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #162,443 of 2,239,179 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.