David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 68 (2):185-202 (2001)
Our cognitive capabilities force us into a description of the world by levels. But theories on different levels result in descriptions that differ qualitatively. Therefore, the resulting incommensurability requires ontological bridges between such theories. These are obtained uniquely when the equations of the reduced theory are compared with a suitable limit of the equations of the reducing theory. Four case studies from theoretical physics and astronomy support this claim, two for theories of composites and two for non-composites (field theories). These results a coherent view of a single real world despite its ontological pluralism. The cumulativity of scientific knowledge is thus ensured and realism is supported
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Citations of this work BETA
Stephan Hartmann (2001). Effective Field Theories, Reductionism and Scientific Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (2):267-304.
Martin Carrier & Patrick Finzer (2006). Explanatory Loops and the Limits of Genetic Reductionism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (3):267 – 283.
Stephan Hartmann (2001). Effective Field Theories, Reductionism and Scientific Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (2):267-304.
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