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  1. added 2018-10-31
    Interpretierte Theorien Und Reduktionen.Ulrich Albert - unknown
    Theories in the philosphy of science are often described from a syntactical or semantical point of view. In this text both descriptions are generalised by interpreted theories. The corresponding interpreted reductions unify the usual attempts to describe intertheoretical reductions. Furthermore leads the chosen framework to interesting results in various versions of reductionism. Approximative Reductions are identified as a special case, as well as truthlikeness.
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  2. added 2018-09-20
    Réductionnisme.Olivier Sartenaer - 2016 - L'Encyclopédie Philosophique.
    Le réductionnisme consiste en la thèse selon laquelle toute entité Y « se réduit », ou est en principe « réductible », à une entité unique de base (ou un ensemble unique d’entités de base) X(i). Ceci étant, la thèse du réductionnisme ne peut être rendue intelligible qu’au travers d’une explicitation première de ce en quoi consiste la « réduction » de Y à X(i). Une telle explicitation s’opère le long de deux dimensions, l’une associée à la nature des relata (...)
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  3. added 2018-09-06
    The Future of the Reduction and Emergence Debate?Petri Ylikoski - 2018 - Metascience 27 (2):317-321.
  4. added 2018-09-04
    Flat Physicalism: Some Implications.Orly Shenker - 2017 - Iyyun 66:211-225.
    Flat Physicalism is a theory of through and through type reductive physicalism, understood in light of recent results in the conceptual foundations of physics. In Flat Physicalism, as in physics, so-called "high level" concepts and laws are nothing but partial descriptions of the complete states of affairs of the universe. "Flat physicalism" generalizes this idea, to form a reductive picture in which there is no room for levels, neither explanatory nor ontological. The paper explains how phenomena that seem to be (...)
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  5. added 2018-09-04
    Foundation of Statistical Mechanics: Mechanics by Itself.Orly Shenker - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (12):e12465.
    Statistical mechanics is a strange theory. Its aims are debated, its methods are contested, its main claims have never been fully proven, and their very truth is challenged, yet at the same time, it enjoys huge empirical success and gives us the feeling that we understand important phenomena. What is this weird theory, exactly? Statistical mechanics is the name of the ongoing attempt to apply mechanics, together with some auxiliary hypotheses, to explain and predict certain phenomena, above all those described (...)
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  6. added 2018-08-31
    Reductionism.Alyssa Ney - 2008 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Reductionists are those who take one theory or phenomenon to be reducible to some other theory or phenomenon. For example, a reductionist regarding mathematics might take any given mathematical theory to be reducible to logic or set theory. Or, a reductionist about biological entities like cells might take such entities to be reducible to collections of physico-chemical entities like atoms and molecules. The type of reductionism that is currently of most interest in metaphysics and philosophy of mind involves the claim (...)
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  7. added 2018-06-19
    Where Do You Get Your Protein? Or: Biochemical Realization.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Biochemical kinds such as proteins pose interesting problems for philosophers of science, as they can be studied from the points of view of both biology and chemistry. The relationship between the biological functions of biochemical kinds and the microstructures that they are related to is the key question. This leads us to a more general discussion about ontological reductionism, microstructuralism, and multiple realization at the biology-chemistry interface. On the face of it, biochemical kinds seem to pose a challenge for ontological (...)
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  8. added 2018-06-09
    Review of John Bickle's Philosophy of Neuroscience: A Ruthlessly Reductive Approach. [REVIEW]Cory Wright - 2004 - Theory and Psychology 14:855–857.
  9. added 2018-05-15
    Each Thing Is Fundamental: Against Hylomorphism and Hierarchical Structure.M. Oreste Fiocco - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    Each thing is fundamental. Not only is no thing any more or less real than any other, but no thing is prior to another in any robust ontological sense. Thus, no thing can explain the very existence of another, nor account for how another is what it is. I reach this surprising conclusion by undermining two important positions in contemporary metaphysics: hylomorphism and hierarchical views employing so-called building relations, such as grounding. The paper has three main parts. First, I observe (...)
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  10. added 2018-05-10
    The Correlation Argument for Reductionism.Christopher Clarke - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (1):76-97.
    Reductionists say things like: all mental properties are physical properties; all normative properties are natural properties. I argue that the only way to resist reductionism is to deny that causation is difference making (thus making the epistemology of causation a mystery) or to deny that properties are individuated by their causal powers (thus making properties a mystery). That is to say, unless one is happy to deny supervenience, or to trivialize the debate over reductionism. To show this, I argue that (...)
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  11. added 2018-03-15
    Ethical Reductionism.Neil Sinhababu - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (1):32-52.
    Ethical reductionism is the best version of naturalistic moral realism. Reductionists regard moral properties as identical to properties appearing in successful scientific theories. Nonreductionists, including many of the Cornell Realists, argue that moral properties instead supervene on scientific properties without identity. I respond to two arguments for nonreductionism. First, nonreductionists argue that the multiple realizability of moral properties defeats reductionism. Multiple realizability can be addressed in ethics by identifying moral properties uniquely or disjunctively with properties of the special sciences. Second, (...)
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  12. added 2018-03-05
    ¿Es posible la reducción epistemológica? Todo sistema necesita presupuestos extra-sistémicos.José V. Orón & Javier Sánchez-Cañizares - 2017 - Anuario Filosófico 50 (3):601-617.
    Is an epistemological reduction strictly possible? Scientific methodology claims that a boundary separating the system from the “extra-system” can be defi ned. However, no system defi nes its own limits: rather, every system needs extra-systemic presuppositions that are defi ned from outside the system. In this article, we show how various areas of knowledge presuppose the presence of an extra-systemic reality that provides meaning: to know any system, knowledge of the “extra-system” is also necessary.
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  13. added 2018-02-17
    'Nothing Over and Above' or 'Nothing'? On Eliminativism, Reductionism, and Composition.Jiri Benovsky - 2015 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):7-17.
    In this article, I am interested in an issue concerning eliminativism about ordinary objects that can be put as the claim that the eliminativist is guilty of postulating the existence of something, but not of something that is identical to it. But, as we will see, this turns out to be a problem for everybody except the eliminativist. Indeed, this issue highlights a more general problem about the relationship between an entity and the parts the compose it. Furthermore, I am (...)
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  14. added 2018-02-16
    Effective Field Theories, Reductionism and Scientific Explanation.Stephan Hartmann - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (2):267-304.
    Effective field theories have been a very popular tool in quantum physics for almost two decades. And there are good reasons for this. I will argue that effective field theories share many of the advantages of both fundamental theories and phenomenological models, while avoiding their respective shortcomings. They are, for example, flexible enough to cover a wide range of phenomena, and concrete enough to provide a detailed story of the specific mechanisms at work at a given energy scale. So will (...)
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  15. added 2018-02-14
    The Layer Cake Model of the World and Non-Reductive Physicalism.Matthew Baxendale - 2016 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):39-60.
    In this paper I argue that non-reductive physicalism (NRP) continues to rely on the ontological aspect of the layer cake model of the world (LCM). NRP is a post-unity account of the relationship between phenomena in the world in the sense that it has been developed in response to the perceived failure of the unity of science thesis. The LCM constitutes a framework for the organisation of phenomena in the world. It articulates the idea that phenomena in the world are (...)
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  16. added 2017-11-28
    Reduction.A. Hütterman & A. C. Love - 2016 - In P. Humphries (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 460-484.
    Reduction and reductionism have been central philosophical topics in analytic philosophy of science for more than six decades. Together they encompass a diversity of issues from metaphysics and epistemology. This article provides an introduction to the topic that illuminates how contemporary epistemological discussions took their shape historically and limns the contours of concrete cases of reduction in specific natural sciences. The unity of science and the impulse to accomplish compositional reduction in accord with a layer-cake vision of the sciences, the (...)
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  17. added 2017-10-25
    Is There Such a Thing as a Social Science?Robert Vinten - 2016 - Dokos 17:53-86.
    This paper looks at the centrality of action in social disciplines and examines the implications of this for whether social disciplines can be called scientific. Various reasons for calling social disciplines scientific are examined and rejected: (1) the claim that social disciplines are reducible to natural scientific ones, (2) the claim, from Donald Davidson, that reasons for action are to be construed in causal terms, (3) the claim that social disciplines employ, or should employ, the methodologies of the natural sciences. (...)
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  18. added 2017-10-16
    Taking Reductionism to the Limit: How to Rebut the Antireductionist Argument From Infinite Limits.Juha Saatsi & Alexander Reutlinger - 2017 - Philosophy of Science (3):455-482.
    This paper analyses the anti-reductionist argument from renormalisation group explanations of universality, and shows how it can be rebutted if one assumes that the explanation in question is captured by the counterfactual dependence account of explanation.
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  19. added 2017-09-06
    Is There an Empirical Disagreement Between Genic and Genotypic Selection Models? A Response to Brandon and Nijhout.Naftali Weinberger - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (2):225-237.
    In a recent paper, Brandon and Nijhout argue against genic selectionism—the thesis, roughly, that evolutionary processes are best understood from the gene’s-eye point of view—by presenting a case in which genic models of selection allegedly make predictions that conflict with the (correct) predictions of higher-level genotypic selection models. Their argument, if successful, would refute the widely held belief that genic models and higher-level models are predictively equivalent. Here, I argue that Brandon and Nijhout fail to demonstrate that the models make (...)
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  20. added 2017-08-19
    The Sum of the Parts: Large-Scale Modeling in Systems Biology.Fridolin Gross & Sara Green - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (10).
    Systems biologists often distance themselves from reductionist approaches and formulate their aim as understanding living systems “as a whole.” Yet, it is often unclear what kind of reductionism they have in mind, and in what sense their methodologies would offer a superior approach. To address these questions, we distinguish between two types of reductionism which we call “modular reductionism” and “bottom-up reductionism.” Much knowledge in molecular biology has been gained by decomposing living systems into functional modules or through detailed studies (...)
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  21. added 2017-08-10
    Two Dogmas of Biology.Leonore Fleming - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (2).
    The problem with reductionism in biology is not the reduction, but the implicit attitude of determinism that usually accompanies it. Methodological reductionism is supported by deterministic beliefs, but making such a connection is problematic when it is based on an idea of determinism as fixed predictability. Conflating determinism with predictability gives rise to inaccurate models that overlook the dynamic complexity of our world, as well as ignore our epistemic limitations when we try to model it. Furthermore, the assumption of a (...)
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  22. added 2017-07-14
    Reductionism and the Universal Calculus.Gopal Sarma - 2016 - Arxiv Preprint Arxiv:1607.06725.
    In the seminal essay, "On the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the physical sciences," physicist Eugene Wigner poses a fundamental philosophical question concerning the relationship between a physical system and our capacity to model its behavior with the symbolic language of mathematics. In this essay, I examine an ambitious 16th and 17th-century intellectual agenda from the perspective of Wigner's question, namely, what historian Paolo Rossi calls "the quest to create a universal language." While many elite thinkers pursued related ideas, the (...)
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  23. added 2017-05-26
    Review of Carl Gillett's Reduction and Emergence in Science and Philosophy. [REVIEW]Elanor Taylor - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:N/A.
    Review of Carl Gillett's "Reduction and Emergence in Science and Philosophy.".
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  24. added 2017-03-27
    John Heil the Universe as We Find It. [REVIEW]Alyssa Ney - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):881-886.
  25. added 2017-03-20
    Reduction and Properties: Response to Merricks.Jaegwon Kim - 1995 - Philosophical Books 36 (3):161-164.
  26. added 2017-03-20
    Putnam's New Identity Theory.Gregory Sheridan - 1986 - Proceedings of the Heraclitean Society 11.
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  27. added 2017-03-19
    On Correlating Brain States with Psychological States.Carl G. Hedman - 1970 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 48 (2):247-51.
  28. added 2017-02-13
    Reduction and Emergence in Science and Philosophy.Carl Gillett - 2016 - Cambridge University Press.
    Grand debates over reduction and emergence are playing out across the sciences, but these debates have reached a stalemate, with both sides declaring victory on empirical grounds. In this book, Carl Gillett provides new theoretical frameworks with which to understand these debates, illuminating both the novel positions of scientific reductionists and emergentists and the recent empirical advances that drive these new views. Gillett also highlights the flaws in existing philosophical frameworks and reorients the discussion to reflect the new scientific advances (...)
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  29. added 2017-02-12
    Property Identity and Reductive Explanation.Ansgar Beckermann - 2012 - In Hill Christopher & Gozzano Simone (eds.), New Perspectives on Type Identity: The Mental and the Physical. Cambridge University Press. pp. 66.
  30. added 2017-02-12
    Reductionism and Discourse Relativity.D. S. Clarke - 2009 - Philo 12 (1):61-72.
    This paper is an interpretation and defense of Putnam’s claim that reductionist sentences identifying experiences with physical events or processes are meaningless. Discourses are formulated within frameworks that are characterized by their methods of justification, types of term introduction, and vocabularies. Examples of both meaningful intra-framework and meaningless cross-framework identities are considered, along with examples of theoretical identities across sub-frameworks. In agreement with Putnam, mental/physical identities are classified as cross-framework. But I qualify Putnam’s thesis by arguing that they can be (...)
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  31. added 2016-12-08
    Reduction Without Reductionism: A Defence of Nagel on Connectability.Colin Klein - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (234):39-53.
    Unlike the overall framework of Ernest Nagel's work on reduction, his theory of intertheoretic connection still has life in it. It handles aptly cases where reduction requires complex representation of a target domain. Abandoning his formulation as too liberal was a mistake. Arguments that it is too liberal at best touch only Nagel's deductivist theory of explanation, not his condition of connectability. Taking this condition seriously gives a powerful view of reduction, but one which requires us to index explanatory power (...)
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  32. added 2016-12-08
    Reconsidering the Role of Bridge Laws In Inter-Theoretical Reductions.Peter Fazekas - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (3):303-322.
    The present paper surveys the three most prominent accounts in contemporary debates over how sound reduction should be executed. The classical Nagelian model of reduction derives the laws of the target-theory from the laws of the base theory plus some auxiliary premises (so-called bridge laws) connecting the entities of the target and the base theory. The functional model of reduction emphasizes the causal definitions of the target entities referring to their causal relations to base entities. The new-wave model of reduction (...)
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  33. added 2016-10-27
    A Physicalist Manifesto: Thoroughly Modern Materialism.Andrew Melnyk - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.
    A Physicalist Manifesto is a full treatment of the comprehensive physicalist view that, in some important sense, everything is physical. Andrew Melnyk argues that the view is best formulated by appeal to a carefully worked-out notion of realization, rather than supervenience; that, so formulated, physicalism must be importantly reductionist; that it need not repudiate causal and explanatory claims framed in non-physical language; and that it has the a posteriori epistemic status of a broad-scope scientific hypothesis. Two concluding chapters argue in (...)
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  34. added 2016-10-17
    How to Define Levels of Explanation and Evaluate Their Indispensability.Christopher Clarke - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    Some explanations in social science, psychology and biology belong to a higher level than other explanations. And higher explanations possess the virtue of abstracting away from the details of lower explanations, many philosophers argue. As a result, these higher explanations are irreplaceable. And this suggests that there are genuine higher laws or patterns involving social, psychological and biological states. I show that this ‘abstractness argument’ is really an argument schema, not a single argument. This is because the argument uses the (...)
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  35. added 2016-03-01
    Explanatory Pluralism: An Unrewarding Prediction Error for Free Energy Theorists.Matteo Colombo & Cory Wright - 2017 - Brain and Cognition 112:3–12.
    Courtesy of its free energy formulation, the hierarchical predictive processing theory of the brain (PTB) is often claimed to be a grand unifying theory. To test this claim, we examine a central case: activity of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DA) systems. After reviewing the three most prominent hypotheses of DA activity—the anhedonia, incentive salience, and reward prediction error hypotheses—we conclude that the evidence currently vindicates explanatory pluralism. This vindication implies that the grand unifying claims of advocates of PTB are unwarranted. More generally, (...)
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  36. added 2016-02-29
    Why a Naturalist Should Be an Emergentist About the Mind.Elly Vintiadis - 2013 - SATS 14 (1):38-62.
    Naturalism about the mind is typically associated with some kind of physicalism. This paper argues that this association is a mistake and that, gi-ven the naturalist’s commitment to the primacy of empirical evidence, natural-ists should be open to different commitments. It is further argued that natural-ists about the mind should be emergentists because of the epistemological attitude that is at the core of the emergentist position, properly understood.
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  37. added 2016-02-08
    Is Psychological Explanation Going Extinct?Cory Wright - 2007 - In Huib Looren de Jong & Maurice Schouten (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Oxford: Blackwell.
    Psychoneural reductionists sometimes claim that sufficient amounts of lower-level explanatory achievement preclude further contributions from higher-level psychological research. Ostensibly, with nothing left to do, the effect of such preclusion on psychological explanation is extinction. Reductionist arguments for preclusion have recently involved a reorientation within the philosophical foundations of neuroscience---namely, away from the philosophical foundations and toward the neuroscience. In this chapter, I review a successful reductive explanation of an aspect of reward function in terms of dopaminergic operations of the mesocorticolimbic (...)
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  38. added 2016-01-28
    Just What is the Relation Between the Manifest and the Scientific Images?Willem A. deVries - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (1):112-128.
    Robert B. Brandom’s From Empiricism to Expressivism ranges widely over fundamental issues in metaphysics, with occasional forays into epistemology as well. The centerpiece is what Brandom calls ‘the Kant-Sellars thesis about modality’. This is ‘[t]he claim that in being able to use ordinary empirical descriptive vocabulary, one already knows how to do everything that one needs to know how to do, in principle, to use alethic modal vocabulary – in particular subjunctive conditionals’. Despite claiming descent from Sellars, Brandom defends here (...)
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  39. added 2016-01-21
    In Defense of the Disjunctive.Alexander Skiles - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (5):471-487.
    Are there any disjunctive properties—features of things such as being either red or round, or Nelson Goodman’s infamous example of being grue? As esoteric as the question may seem at first, central issues about the metaphysics of properties hinge upon its answer, such as whether reductive views about special science properties can handle the phenomenon of multiple realizability. A familiar argument for a negative answer is that disjunctive properties fail to guarantee that their instances are similar in some genuine respect. (...)
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  40. added 2015-12-03
    Ontology, Complexity, and Compositionality.Michael Strevens - forthcoming - In Matthew Slater & Zanja Yudell (eds.), Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    Sciences of complex systems thrive on compositional theories – toolkits that allow the construction of models of a wide range of systems, each consisting of various parts put together in different ways. To be tractable, a compositional theory must make shrewd choices about the parts and properties that constitute its basic ontology. One such choice is to decompose a system into spatiotemporally discrete parts. Compositional theories in the high-level sciences follow this rule of thumb to a certain extent, but they (...)
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  41. added 2015-12-03
    Dappled Science in a Unified World.Michael Strevens - forthcoming - In H.-K. Chao, J. Reiss & S.-T. Chen (eds.), Philosophy of Science in Practice: Nancy Cartwright and the Nature of Scientific Reasoning. Springer.
    Science as we know it is “dappled”. Its picture of the world is a mosaic in which different aspects of the world, different systems, are represented by narrow-scope theories or models that are largely disconnected from one another. The best explanation for this disunity in our representation of the world, Nancy Cartwright has proposed, is a disunity in the world itself: rather than being governed by a small set of strict fundamental laws, events unfold according to a patchwork of principles (...)
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  42. added 2015-10-19
    The Explanatory Virtue of Abstracting Away From Idiosyncratic and Messy Detail.Christopher Clarke - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1429-1449.
    Some explanations are relatively abstract: they abstract away from the idiosyncratic or messy details of the case in hand. The received wisdom in philosophy is that this is a virtue for any explanation to possess. I argue that the apparent consensus on this point is illusory. When philosophers make this claim, they differ on which of four alternative varieties of abstractness they have in mind. What’s more, for each variety of abstractness there are several alternative reasons to think that the (...)
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  43. added 2015-08-25
    Coherence, Entanglement, and Reductionist Explanation in Quantum Physics,".Gregg Jaeger & Sahotra Sarkar - 2003 - In A. Ashtekar (ed.), Revisiting the Foundations of Relativistic Physics. D. Reidel. pp. 523--542.
    The scope and nature of reductionist explanation in quantum physics is analyzed, with special attention being paid to the situation in quantum physics.
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  44. added 2015-07-03
    Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology.Robert Arp, Barry Smith & Andrew D. Spear - 2015 - Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    In the era of “big data,” science is increasingly information driven, and the potential for computers to store, manage, and integrate massive amounts of data has given rise to such new disciplinary fields as biomedical informatics. Applied ontology offers a strategy for the organization of scientific information in computer-tractable form, drawing on concepts not only from computer and information science but also from linguistics, logic, and philosophy. This book provides an introduction to the field of applied ontology that is of (...)
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  45. added 2015-05-27
    Stoljar’s Dilemma and Three Conceptions of the Physical: A Defence of the Via Negativa.Raphaël Fiorese - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (2):201-229.
    Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical. But what does it mean to say that everything is physical? Daniel Stoljar has recently argued that no account of the physical is available which allows for a formulation of physicalism that is both possibly true and deserving of the name. As against this claim, I argue that a version of the via negativa—roughly, the view that the physical is to be characterised in terms of the nonmental—provides just such an account.
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  46. added 2015-03-15
    Must Structural Realism Cover the Special Sciences?Holger Lyre - 2013 - In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 383--390.
    Structural Realism (SR) is typically rated as a moderate realist doctrine about the ultimate entities of nature described by fundamental physics. Whether it must be extended to the higher-level special sciences is not so clear. In this short paper I argue that there is no need to ‘structuralize’ the special sciences. By mounting concrete examples I show that structural descriptions and structural laws certainly play a role in the special sciences, but that they don’t play any exclusive role nor that (...)
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  47. added 2014-11-06
    Can Physicalism Be Non-Reductive?Andrew Melnyk - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1281-1296.
    Can physicalism (or materialism) be non-reductive? I provide an opinionated survey of the debate on this question. I suggest that attempts to formulate non-reductive physicalism by appeal to claims of event identity, supervenience, or realization have produced doctrines that fail either to be physicalist or to be non-reductive. Then I treat in more detail a recent attempt to formulate non-reductive physicalism by Derk Pereboom, but argue that it fares no better.
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  48. added 2014-11-06
    Functionalism and Psychological Reductionism: Friends, Not Foes.Andrew Melnyk - 2006 - In Maurice Schouten & Huib Looren de Jong (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Blackwell. pp. 31-50.
    The paper argues that a broadly functionalist picture of psychological phenomena is quite consistent with at least one interesting thesis of psychological reductionism.
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  49. added 2014-11-06
    Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2002 - In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Blackwell. pp. 573-587.
    Written with a student audience in mind, this article surveys the issues raises by the attempt to formulate, argue for, and explore the implications of a comprehensively physicalist view of the world.
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  50. added 2014-09-26
    John Heil: The Universe As We Find It. [REVIEW]David J. Frost - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (1):243-249.
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