Models of reduction and categories of reductionism

Synthese 91 (3):167-94 (1992)
  A classification of models of reduction into three categories — theory reductionism, explanatory reductionism, and constitutive reductionism — is presented. It is shown that this classification helps clarify the relations between various explications of reduction that have been offered in the past, especially if a distinction is maintained between the various epistemological and ontological issues that arise. A relatively new model of explanatory reduction, one that emphasizes that reduction is the explanation of a whole in terms of its parts is also presented in detail. Finally, the classification is used to clarify the debate over reductionism in molecular biology. It is argued there that while no model from the category of theory reduction might be applicable in that case, models of explanatory reduction might yet capture the structure of the relevant explanations
Keywords Model  Reductionism  Science
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DOI 10.1007/BF00413566
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References found in this work BETA
Donald Davidson (1970). Mental Events. In L. Foster & J. W. Swanson (eds.), Experience and Theory. Humanities Press 79-101.

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Richard Corry (2013). Emerging From the Causal Drain. Philosophical Studies 165 (1):29-47.
Elena Castellani (2002). Reductionism, Emergence, and Effective Field Theories. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 33 (2):251-267.
Carl F. Craver & Lindley Darden (2005). Introduction. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):233-244.

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