David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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|
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