Identity, Asymmetry, and the Relevance of Meanings for Models of Reduction

Assume that water reduces to H2O. If so water is identical to H2O. At the same time, if water reduces to H2O then H2O does not reduce to water–the reduction relation is asymmetric. This generates a puzzle–if water just is H2O it is hard to see how we can account for the asymmetry of the reduction relation. The paper proposes a solution to this puzzle. It is argued that the reduction predicate generates intensional contexts and that in order to account for the asymmetry, we should develop conditions on the meanings of expressions that flank the reduction predicate in true reduction statements. Finally, it is argued that if we adopt this interpretation, we can illuminate the epistemological difference between reduced and reducing item commonly referred to in the literature
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axs028
 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: 23,201
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
Ullin T. Place (1956). Is Consciousness a Brain Process? British Journal of Psychology 47 (1):44-50.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Scott Soames (2006). Is H2O a Liquid, or Water a Gas? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (3):635-639.
David Papineau (1992). Can We Reduce Causal Direction to Probabilities? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:238-252.
B. C. Malt (1994). Water is Not H 2 O. Cognitive Psychology 27:41--70.
J. Schwartz (1991). Reduction, Elimination, and the Mental. Philosophy of Science 58 (June):203-20.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

105 ( #42,432 of 1,940,955 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #272,411 of 1,940,955 )

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.