David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 62 (1):1-20 (1995)
Scientists employ a variety of procedures to eliminate degrees of freedom from computationally and/or analytically intractable equations. In the process, they often construct new models and discover new concepts, laws and functional relations. I argue these procedures embody a central notion of reduction, namely, the containment of one structure within another. However, their inclusion in the philosophical concept of reduction necessitates a reevaluation of many standard assumptions about the ontological, epistemological and functional features of a reduction. On the basis of the reevaluation, I advocate a continuum of reduction which proceeds from the eliminative to the constructive. The metaphysical aspects of theory use in constructive reductions are sketched.
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Citations of this work BETA
Jessica M. Wilson (2010). Non-Reductive Physicalism and Degrees of Freedom. British Journal for Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311.
William C. Wimsatt (2006). Reductionism and its Heuristics: Making Methodological Reductionism Honest. [REVIEW] Synthese 151 (3):445 - 475.
Colin Klein (2008). An Ideal Solution to Disputes About Multiply Realized Kinds. Philosophical Studies 140 (2):161 - 177.
Nadine de Courtenay (2010). The Epistemological Virtues of Assumptions: Towards a Coming of Age of Boltzmann and Meinong's Objections to 'the Prejudice in Favour of the Actual'? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (1):41-57.
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