About this topic

The subject of interlevel relations concerns the connection between items described by the different sciences, from fundamental-level physics to high-level human sciences. Philosophers analyze these relations in terms of concepts like reduction, or emergence, or supervenience, or realization. The subject is essential to any broad picture of the sciences and the world. 

Key works Most of the works in philosophy divide along the aforementioned views. For reduction, important ideas includes reduction as a derivation by bridge principles (Nagel 1961), approximate reduction (Schaffner 1967), an expanded continuum of strong to weak reduction that advertises no bridge laws (Churchland 1979; Hooker 1981; Bickle 1997), compositional or mechanistic reduction (Wimsatt 1976; Rosenberg 2006; Bechtel 2007), and functional reduction (Kim 1998). For emergence, there are views that involve epistemic, metaphysical, synchronic, and diachronic ideas (McLaughlin 1992; Wimsatt 1997; Humphreys 2008), as well as issues about actual cases in the sciences (Batterman 2001; Davies 2006). For supervenience, there are weak, strong, global, and mereological varieties (Kim 1993; Horgan 1993; McLaughlin 1995), as well as debates over their significance for issues of explanation and dependence (Grimes 1988; Bennett 2004) and their adequacy to express a doctrine of physicalism (Wilson 2005). For realization, the are accounts in terms of parts and wholes (Cummins 1983; Gillett 2002), functional roles and occupation (Papineau 1993; Melnyk 1994; Kim 1998), determinables and determinates (Macdonald & Macdonald 1986; Yablo 1992), and subsets of causal powers (Wilson 1999, 2011; Shoemaker 2001, 2007). There are also questions about the resulting broad picture of the sciences and how it is unified (Oppenheim & Putnam 1958; Rosenberg 1994).
Introductions Some works have a fairly broad scope, encompassing several of the views just mentioned. See Beckermann et al 1992; van Gulick 2001; and Kim 2003.
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  1. Monika M. Langer , Nietzsche's Gay Science: Dancing Coherence . Reviewed By. [REVIEW]Ruth Abbey - 2011 - Philosophy in Review 31 (1):46-48.
  2. Eastern Determinism Reconsidered From a Scientific Point of View.Takehisa Abe & Fusako Kobayashi - 2002 - In Harald Atmanspacher & Robert C. Bishop (eds.), Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism. Thorverton Uk: Imprint Academic. pp. 485.
  3. Kitcher on the Deduction.Lucy Allais - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):229-236.
  4. What's the Matter with Monism?Jonathan Allen - 2009 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 12 (3):469-489.
  5. The World's Desires; or, the Results of Monism.Edgar A. Ashcroft - 1905
  6. The Characterization of Systems Identity in the Physical and the Biological Sciences.Francis Bailly - 1994 - World Futures 42 (1):11-19.
  7. John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center Boston Marriott Hotel, and Boston Sheraton Hotel Boston, MA January 6–7, 2012. [REVIEW]John Baldwin, Johanna Ny Franklin, C. Ward Henson, Julia F. Knight, Roman Kossak, Dima Sinapova, W. Hugh Woodin & Philip Scowcroft - 2013 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 19 (2).
  8. Hempel On Intertheoretic Reduction Winner Of The Gerritt And Edith Schipper Undergraduate Award For Outstanding Undergraduate Paper.David Barnett - 2002 - Florida Philosophical Review 2 (1):26-40.
    The question of whether all living things are really just complex physical ones, or whether instead there are biological entities or characteristics that cannot be fully characterized in physical terms, has historical roots buried centuries deep. Carl Hempel considers this question as an empirical one for modern science to address. Hempel’s concern is not with the answer to the question, but rather with the methods by which it may be evaluated. He considers the position of those he calls “mechanists,” that (...)
  9. Reconceptualizations and Interfield Connections: The Discovery of the Link Between Vitamins and Coenzymes.William Bechtel - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (2):265-292.
    The discovery that some B vitamins are constituents of respiratory coenzymes led to the development of an interfield theory of the kind discussed by Darden and Maull. In this paper it is shown that the development of a useful interfield connection was made possible by two reconceptualizations: a reconceptualization that united two then-distinct fields giving rise to the concept of vitamins as dietary substances; and another reconceptualization that united two approaches to respiratory metabolism producing the idea that coenzymes are transport (...)
  10. From Reduction Back to Higher Levels.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2008 - In B. C. Love, K. McRae & V. M. Sloutsky (eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society. pp. 559--564.
  11. Some Consequences (and Enablings) of Process Metaphysics.Mark Bickhard - 2011 - Axiomathes 21 (1):3-32.
    The interactivist model has explored a number of consequences of process metaphysics. These include reversals of some fundamental metaphysical assumptions dominant since the ancient Greeks, and multiple further consequences throughout the metaphysics of the world, minds, and persons. This article surveys some of these consequences, ranging from issues regarding entities and supervenience to the emergence of normative phenomena such as representation, rationality, persons, and ethics.
  12. 9 The Emergent Ontology of Persons.Mark H. Bickhard - 2012 - In Jack Martin & Mark H. Bickhard (eds.), The Psychology of Personhood: Philosophical, Historical, Social-Developmental and Narrative Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. pp. 165.
  13. Reduction in the Abstract Sciences.Daniel A. Bonevac - 1982
  14. Presentation: Darwinism and Social Science: Is There Any Hope for the Reductionist?Jesús P. Zamora Bonilla - 2003 - Theoria 18 (3):255-257.
  15. Steven French and Juha Saatsi, Eds. , The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science . Reviewed By.Giacomo Borbone - 2013 - Philosophy in Review 33 (4):288-290.
  16. Individualism, Collective Agency and The “Micro–Macro Relation”.Alban Bouvier - 2011 - In Ian Jarvie Jesus Zamora Bonilla (ed.), The Sage Handbook of the Philosophy of Social Sciences. pp. 199.
  17. Indispensability Arguments in Favour of Reductive Explanations.Jeroen Van Bouwel, Erik Weber & Leen De Vreese - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (1):33 - 46.
    Instances of explanatory reduction are often advocated on metaphysical grounds; given that the only real things in the world are subatomic particles and their interaction, we have to try to explain everything in terms of the laws of physics. In this paper, we show that explanatory reduction cannot be defended on metaphysical grounds. Nevertheless, indispensability arguments for reductive explanations can be developed, taking into account actual scientific practice and the role of epistemic interests. Reductive explanations might be indispensable to address (...)
  18. Don Ross, James Ladyman, and Harold Kincaid (Eds) Scientific Metaphysics.Katherine Brading & Xavi Lanao - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):899-903.
  19. Integration in Biology: Philosophical Perspectives on the Dynamics of Interdisciplinarity.Ingo Brigandt - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):461-465.
    This introduction to the special section on integration in biology provides an overview of the different contributions. In addition to motivating the philosophical significance of analyzing integration and interdisciplinary research, I lay out common themes and novel insights found among the special section contributions, and indicate how they exhibit current trends in the philosophical study of integration. One upshot of the contributed papers is that there are different aspects to and kinds of integration, so that rather than attempting to offer (...)
  20. E. Other Psychophysical Relations.C. D. Broad - 2002 - In David J. Chalmers (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford University Press. pp. 106.
  21. How Blind is the Watchmaker? Nature's Design & the Limits of Naturalistic Science.Neil Broom - 2001
  22. Peter Vickers: Understanding Inconsistent Science. [REVIEW]Bryson Brown - 2015 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (2):413-418.
  23. Structural Levels in the Scientist's World.Harold Chapman Brown - 1916 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 13 (13):337-345.
  24. Book Review:Ethics A. Campbell Garnett. [REVIEW]R. J. C. Burgener - 1961 - Philosophy of Science 28 (1):93-.
  25. Unification and Coherence as Methodological Objectives in the Biological Sciences.Richard M. Burian - 1993 - Biology and Philosophy 8 (3):301-318.
    In this paper I respond to Wim van der Steen''s arguments against the supposed current overemphasis on norms ofcoherence andinterdisciplinary integration in biology. On the normative level, I argue that these aremiddle-range norms which, although they may be misapplied in short-term attempts to solve (temporarily?) intractable problems, play a guiding role in the longer-term treatment of biological problems. This stance is supported by a case study of apartial success story, the development of the one gene — one enzyme hypothesis. As (...)
  26. Introducing ‘Forensic Cultures’.Ian Burney, David A. Kirby & Neil Pemberton - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (1):1-3.
  27. Eclectic Realism—a Cake Less Filling.Jacob Busch - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):270-272.
    In a recent volume of this journal Saatsi [Saatsi, J. . Reconsidering the Fresnel–Maxwell theory shift: How the realist can have her cake and EAT it too. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 36, 509–536.] suggests that we adopt an approach where we explain phenomena reductively, by properties that are described via their nomological roles. These properties are conceived of as higher-order multiply realisable properties. Such properties are however not causally efficacious independent of their causal basis. Therefore Saatsi has (...)
  28. Emergence and Reduction Combined in Phase Transitions.Jeremy Butterfield & Nazim Bouatta - unknown
    In another paper, one of us argued that emergence and reduction are compatible, and presented four examples illustrating both. The main purpose of this paper is to develop this position for the example of phase transitions. We take it that emergence involves behaviour that is novel compared with what is expected: often, what is expected from a theory of the system's microscopic constituents. We take reduction as deduction, aided by appropriate definitions. Then the main idea of our reconciliation of emergence (...)
  29. Substantial Causes and Nomic Determination.Henry Byerly - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (1):57-81.
    I characterize a notion of causal agency that is the causitive component of many transitive verbs. The agency of what I call substantial causes relates objects physically to systems with which they interact. Such agent causation does not reduce to conditionship relations, nor does it cease to play a role in scientific discourse. I argue, contrary to regularity theories, that causal claims do not in general depend for their sense on generalities nor do they entail the existence of laws. Clarification (...)
  30. Réduction et explication mécaniste en biologie.Werner Callebaut - 1995 - Revue Philosophique De Louvain 93 (1):33-66.
  31. Rejoinder.Martin Carrier & Jürgen Mittelstrass - 1995 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9 (1):103-104.
  32. Thomas C. Vinci, Space, Geometry, and Kant’s Transcendental Deduction of the Categories. [REVIEW]Emily Carson - 2016 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 6 (2):341-344.
  33. Comments on Dr. Hochberg's Paper.Richard L. Cartwright - 1956 - Philosophy of Science 23 (3):260-265.
  34. Into the 'Regions of Physical and Metaphysical Chaos': Maxwell's Scientific Metaphysics and Natural Philosophy of Action (Agency, Determinacy and Necessity From Theology, Moral Philosophy and History to Mathematics, Theory and Experiment).Jordi Cat - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):91-104.
  35. Reduction and Ontological Unification: Reply to McCauley.Robert L. Causey - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (2):228-231.
  36. Identities and Reduction: A Reply.Robert L. Causey - 1976 - Noûs 10 (3):333-337.
  37. Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum Getting Causes From Powers.Anjan Chakravartty - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):axt007.
  38. Steve Clarke, Metaphysics and the Disunity of Scientific Knowledge. [REVIEW]A. Chalmers - 1999 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):381.
  39. The Integration of Science.Mikhail Grigor Evich Chepikov - 1978 - Progress Publishers.
  40. The Bearers of Psychological Properties.R. M. Chisholm - 1991 - Daimon: Revista de Filosofia 3:7.
  41. A Challenge.C. W. Churchman & T. A. Cowan - 1945 - Philosophy of Science 12 (3):219-220.
  42. Biology, Physics and Reductionism.F. Cizek - 1979 - Filosoficky Casopis 27 (4):488-503.
  43. Metaphysics and the Disunity of Scientific Knowledge.Steve Clarke - 1998
    The central current of ideas in modern philosophy - through Hume, Kant and Hegel, to the present - can be understood as a reaction to the percieved threat of disorder. Against this background, the author argues for acceptance of a metaphysics of disorder, and outlines a number of important philosophical consequences of such an acceptance. When appropriately constrained by empiricist concern, such a metaphysics allows us to make sense of ourselves as as knowers who must make do in a world (...)
  44. D. M. Armstrong's "The Nature of Mind and Other Essays". [REVIEW]Earl Conee - 1982 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 42 (4):622.
  45. Psychology's Place in the Science of the Mind/Brain?Michael C. Corballis - 1988 - Biology and Philosophy 3 (3):363-373.
  46. On the Reduction of Type Theory.Marcel Crabbé - 1983 - Mathematical Logic Quarterly 29 (4):235-237.
  47. Neural Mechanisms: On the Structure, Function, and Development of Theories in Neurobiology.Carl Frederick Craver - 1998 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    Reference to mechanisms is virtually ubiquitous in science and its philosophy. Yet, the concept of a mechanism remains largely unanalyzed; So too for its possible applications in thinking about scientific explanation, experimental practice, and theory structure. This dissertation investigates these issues in the context of contemporary neurobiology. ;The theories of neurobiology are hierarchically organized descriptions of mechanisms that explain functions. Mechanisms are the coordinated activities of entities by virtue of which that function is performed. Since the activities composing mechanisms are (...)
  48. Edward Buckner and Jack Zupko, Duns Scotus on Time and Existence: The Questions on Aristotle’s “De Interpretatione.”. [REVIEW]Richard Cross - 2016 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 6 (2):352-353.
  49. Self-Refutations and Much More: The Dialectical Thinking of Hilary Putnam.Louise Cummings - 2001 - Theoria 16 (2):237-268.
    In the following discussion, I examine what constitutes the dialectical strain in Putnam’s thought. As part of this examination, I consider Putnam’s criticism of the fact/value dichotomy. I compare this criticism to Putnam’s analysis of the metaphysical realist’s position, a position which has occupied Putnam’s thinking more than any other philosophical stance. I describe how Putnam pursues a chargeof self-refutation against the metaphysical realist and against the proponent of a fact/value dichotomy, a charge which assumes dialectical significance. So it is (...)
  50. The Nature of Mind and Other Essays. By David M. Armstrong.Suzanne Cunningham - 1983 - Modern Schoolman 60 (2):124-125.
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