David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 151 (3):445 - 475 (2006)
Methodological reductionists practice ‘wannabe reductionism’. They claim that one should pursue reductionism, but never propose how. I integrate two strains in prior work to do so. Three kinds of activities are pursued as “reductionist”. “Successional reduction” and inter-level mechanistic explanation are legitimate and powerful strategies. Eliminativism is generally ill-conceived. Specific problem-solving heuristics for constructing inter-level mechanistic explanations show why and when they can provide powerful and fruitful tools and insights, but sometimes lead to erroneous results. I show how traditional metaphysical approaches fail to engage how science is done. The methods used do so, and support a pragmatic and non-eliminativist realism.
|Keywords||Aggregativity Biases Eliminativism Heuristics Identification Inter-level explanation Localization Mechanism Methodological reductionism Problem-solving Wannabe reductionism|
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Citations of this work BETA
Dave Elder-vass (2007). For Emergence: Refining Archer's Account of Social Structure. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 37 (1):25–44.
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Maureen A. O’Malley (2013). When Integration Fails: Prokaryote Phylogeny and the Tree of Life. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):551-562.
Georg Theiner (2013). Transactive Memory Systems: A Mechanistic Analysis of Emergent Group Memory. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (1):65-89.
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