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  1. Artificial Brains & Holographic Bodies: Facing the Questions of Progress.John Altmann - manuscript
    This essay discusses the ambitious plans of one Dmitry Itskov who by 2045 wishes to see immortality achieved by way of Artificial Brains and Holographic Bodies. I discuss the ethical implications of such a possibility coming to pass.
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  2. Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology.Robert Arp, Andrew D. Spear & Barry Smith - 2015 - 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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  3. The Relevance of Boyle's Chemical Philosophy for Contemporary Philosophy of Chemistry.Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino - 2013 - In Jean-Pierre Llored (ed.), The Philosophy of Chemistry: Practices, Methodologies, and Concepts.
  4. The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction, and Emergence.Robert W. Batterman - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
    Robert Batterman examines a form of scientific reasoning called asymptotic reasoning, arguing that it has important consequences for our understanding of the scientific process as a whole. He maintains that asymptotic reasoning is essential for explaining what physicists call universal behavior. With clarity and rigor, he simplifies complex questions about universal behavior, demonstrating a profound understanding of the underlying structures that ground them. This book introduces a valuable new method that is certain to fill explanatory gaps across disciplines.
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  5. 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.
  6. 'Nothing Over and Above' or 'Nothing'? On Eliminativism, Reductionism, and Composition.Jiri Benovsky - 2015 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 9 (2).
    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 (atoms arranged tablewise) but not of something that is identical to it (the table). 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 (...)
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  7. Does the Supervenience Argument Generalize?Suzanne Bliss & Jordi Fernández - 2011 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (4):321-346.
    We evaluate the scope of Jaegwon Kim's “supervenience argument” for reduction. Does its conclusion apply only to psychology, or does it generalize to all the special sciences? The claim that the supervenience argument generalizes to all the special sciences if it goes through for psychology is often raised as an objection to the supervenience argument. We argue that this objection is ambiguous. We distinguish three readings of it and suggest that some of them make it a plausible claim, whereas other (...)
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  8. Beyond Reduction and Pluralism: Toward an Epistemology of Explanatory Integration in Biology.Ingo Brigandt - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):295-311.
    The paper works towards an account of explanatory integration in biology, using as a case study explanations of the evolutionary origin of novelties-a problem requiring the integration of several biological fields and approaches. In contrast to the idea that fields studying lower level phenomena are always more fundamental in explanations, I argue that the particular combination of disciplines and theoretical approaches needed to address a complex biological problem and which among them is explanatorily more fundamental varies with the problem pursued. (...)
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  9. Review of Reductionism in the Philosophy of Science by Christian Sachse. [REVIEW]Ingo Brigandt - 2007 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 200709.
    Reductionism in the Philosophy of Science develops a novel account of reduction in science and applies it to the relationship between classical and molecular genetics. However, rather than addressing the epistemological issues that have been essential to the reductionism debate in philosophy of biology, the discussion primarily pursues ontological questions, as they are known, about reducing the mental to the physical. For Sachse construes reductionism as a purely philosophical endeavor and defends the possibility of reduction in principle, which may not (...)
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  10. Fundamentality: Structures, Powers, and a Supervenience Dualism.Rodrigo Cid - manuscript
    If we want to say what “fundamentality” means, we have to start by approaching what we generally see at the empty place of the predicate “____ is fundamental”. We generally talk about fundamental entities and fundamental theories. At this article, I tried to make a metaphysical approach of what is for something to be fundamental, and I also tried to talk a little bit of fundamental incomplete and complete theories. To do that, I start stating the notion of “entity” and (...)
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  11. How to Define Levels of Explanation and Evaluate Their Indispensability.Christopher Clarke - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. One's a Crowd: Mereological Nihilism Without Ordinary‐Object Eliminativism.Gabriele Contessa - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (2):199-221.
    Mereological nihilism is the thesis that there are no composite objects—i.e. objects with proper material parts. One of the main advantages of mereological nihilism is that it allows its supporters to avoid a number of notorious philosophical puzzles. However, it seems to offer this advantage only at the expense of certain widespread and deeply entrenched beliefs. In particular, it is usually assumed that mereological nihilism entails eliminativism about ordinary objects—i.e. the counterintuitive thesis that there are no such things as tables, (...)
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  16. Emergence in Science and Philosophy.Antonella Corradini & Timothy O'Connor (eds.) - 2010 - Routledge.
    The concept of emergence has seen a significant resurgence in philosophy and the sciences, yet debates regarding emergentist and reductionist visions of the natural world continue to be hampered by imprecision or ambiguity. Emergent phenomena are said to arise out of and be sustained by more basic phenomena, while at the same time exerting a "top-down" control upon those very sustaining processes. To some critics, this has the air of magic, as it seems to suggest a kind of circular causality. (...)
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  17. 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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  18. The Perils of Tweaking: How to Use Macrodata to Set Parameters in Complex Simulation Models.Brian Epstein & Patrick Forber - 2013 - Synthese 190 (2):203-218.
    When can macroscopic data about a system be used to set parameters in a microfoundational simulation? We examine the epistemic viability of tweaking parameter values to generate a better fit between the outcome of a simulation and the available observational data. We restrict our focus to microfoundational simulations—those simulations that attempt to replicate the macrobehavior of a target system by modeling interactions between microentities. We argue that tweaking can be effective but that there are two central risks. First, tweaking risks (...)
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  19. Complessità E Riduzionismo.Vincenzo Fano, Enrico Giannetto, Giulia Giannini & Pierluigi Graziani - 2012 - ISONOMIA - Epistemologica Series Editor.
    The enormous increasing of connections between people and the noteworthy enlargement of domains and methods in sciences have augmented extraordinarily the cardinality of the set of meaningful human symbols. We know that complexity is always on the way to become complication, i.e. a non-tractable topic. For this reason scholars engage themselves more and more in attempting to tame plurality and chaos. In this book distinguished scientists, philosophers and historians of science reflect on the topic from a multidisciplinary point of view. (...)
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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. John Heil: The Universe As We Find It. [REVIEW]David J. Frost - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (1):243-249.
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  24. 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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  25. On the Implications of Scientific Composition and Completeness: Or, the Troubles, and Troubles, of Non-Reductive Physicalism.Carl Gillett - 2009 - In T. O'connor & A. Corradini (eds.), Emergence in Science and Philosophy. Routledge.
  26. 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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  27. Ontological Reduction.Reinhardt Grossmann - 1973 - Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
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  28. Synergetik: zwischen Reduktionismus und Holismus.Hermann Haken & Helena Knyazeva - 2000 - Philosophia Naturalis 37 (1):21-44.
    Die philosophischen Folgerungen der Synergetik, einer interdisziplinären Theorie der Evolution und Selbstorganisation komplexer nichtlinearer Systeme, werden in diesem Artikel zur Diskussion gestellt. Das sind der weltanschauliche Sinn des Begriffs von der „Nichtlinearität“, die konstruktive Rolle des Chaos in der Evolution, eine neue Vorstellung von diskreten Spektren evolutionärer Wege in komplexen Systemen, die Prinzipien des Aufbaus von komplexem evolutionärem Ganzen, der Integration von komplexen Strukturen, die sich mit verschiedenen Geschwindigkeiten entwickeln, die Methoden des nichtlinearen Managements komplexer Systeme. Die Synergetik entdeckt allgemeingültige (...)
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  29. 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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  30. On the Distinction Between Reductive and Nonreductive Physicalism.Matthew C. Haug - 2011 - Metaphilosophy 42 (4):451-469.
    Abtract: This article argues that the debate between reductive and nonreductive physicalists is best characterized as a disagreement about which properties are natural. Among other things, natural properties are those that characterize the world completely. All physicalists accept the “completeness of physics,” but this claim contains a subtle ambiguity, which results in two conceptions of natural properties. Reductive physicalists should assert, while nonreductive physicalists should deny, that a single set of low-level physical properties is natural in both of these senses. (...)
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  31. Reductionism in Ethics.Chris Heathwood - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley.
    An encyclopedia entry on the issue of whether morality is reducible -- that is, whether moral facts are identical to facts that can be expressed in non-moral terms.
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  32. On Correlating Brain States with Psychological States.Carl G. Hedman - 1970 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 48 (August):247-51.
  33. Levels of Reality.John Heil - 2003 - Ratio 16 (3):205–221.
    Philosophers and non-philosophers have been attracted to the idea that the world incorporates levels of being: higher-level items – ordinary objects, artifacts, human beings – depend on, but are not in any sense reducible to, items at lower levels. I argue that the motivation for levels stems from an implicit acceptance of a Picture Theory of language according to which we can ‘read off’ features of the world from ways we describe the world. Abandonment of the Picture Theory opens the (...)
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  34. Emergence: Postulates and Candidates.Paul Hoyningen-Huene & Simon Lohse - manuscript
    In the first part of this article we will formulate postulates, which must be satisfied by a reasonable concept of emergence. The postulates will articulate conditions of adequacy for an appropriate explication of the concept of emergence. These conditions of adequacy are based primarily upon the philosophical and scientific history of the concept of emergence, in which the intended role of the concept is expressed. In the second part we will discuss and evaluate some candidates for the concept of emergence (...)
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  35. Stability, Emergence and Part-Whole-Reduction.Andreas Hüttemann, Reimer Kühn & Orestis Terzidis - 2015 - In Brigitte Falkenburg & Margret Morrison (eds.), Why More Is Different. Philosophical Issues in Condensed Matter Physics and Complex Systems. Springer. pp. 169-200.
    We address the question whether there is an explanation for the fact that as Fodor put it the micro-level “converges on stable macro-level properties”, and whether there are lessons from this explanation for other issues in the vicinity. We argue that stability in large systems can be understood in terms of statistical limit theorems. In the thermodynamic limit of infinite system size N → ∞ systems will have strictly stable macroscopic properties in the sense that transitions between different macroscopic phases (...)
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  36. 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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  37. Reduction and Properties: Response to Merricks.Jaegwon Kim - 1995 - Philosophical Books 36 (3):161-164.
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  38. Multiple Realization and the Metaphysics of Reduction.Jaegwon Kim - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1):1-26.
  39. Supervenience, Determination, and Reduction.Jaegwon Kim - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (11):616-618.
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  40. 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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  41. Methodological Individualism and Holism in Political Science: A Reconciliation.Christian List & Kai Spiekermann - 2013 - American Political Science Review 107 (4):629-643.
    Political science is divided between methodological individualists, who seek to explain political phenomena by reference to individuals and their interactions, and holists (or nonreductionists), who consider some higher-level social entities or properties such as states, institutions, or cultures ontologically or causally significant. We propose a reconciliation between these two perspectives, building on related work in philosophy. After laying out a taxonomy of different variants of each view, we observe that (i) although political phenomena result from underlying individual attitudes and behavior, (...)
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  42. 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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  43. Les origines de la vie : émergence ou explication réductive ?Christophe Malaterre - 2010 - Hermann.
    La vie est-elle un phénomène émergent ? Traduit-elle l'apparition de propriétés nouvelles au niveau d'un tout, qui seraient irréductibles aux propriétés et à l'organisation des composants de ce tout, ou encore imprédictibles à partir de ces mêmes éléments ? Développées à la charnière des XIXe et XXe siècles comme alternative aux deux approches antinomiques du vivant que sont le vitalisme et le mécanisme, la notion philosophique d'émergence connait aujourd'hui de nouveaux développements : avec la prise de conscience de la complexité (...)
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  44. 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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  45. 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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  46. 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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  47. 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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  48. The Causal Autonomy of the Special Sciences.Peter Menzies & Christian List - 2010 - In Cynthia Mcdonald & Graham Mcdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press.
    The systems studied in the special sciences are often said to be causally autonomous, in the sense that their higher-level properties have causal powers that are independent of those of their more basic physical properties. This view was espoused by the British emergentists, who claimed that systems achieving a certain level of organizational complexity have distinctive causal powers that emerge from their constituent elements but do not derive from them.2 More recently, non-reductive physicalists have espoused a similar view about the (...)
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  49. Reducing the Dauer Larva: Molecular Models of Biological Phenomena in Caenorhabditis Elegans Research.Arciszewski Michal - manuscript
    One important aspect of biological explanation is detailed causal modeling of particular phenomena in limited experimental background conditions. Recognising this allows a new avenue for intertheoretic reduction to be seen. Reductions in biology are possible, when one fully recognises that a sufficient condition for a reduction in biology is a molecular model of 1) only the demonstrated causal parameters of a biological model and 2) only within a replicable experimental background. These intertheoretic identifications –which are ubiquitous in biology and form (...)
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  50. Reduction and Abduction in Chemistry-a Response to Scerri.Paul Needham - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):169 – 184.
    Eric Scerri has proposed an account of how reduction might be understood in chemistry. He claims to build on a general aspect of Popper's views which survives his otherwise heavy criticism, namely adherence to actual scientific practice. This is contrasted with Nagel's conception, which Scerri takes to be the philosopher's standard notion. I argue that his proposal, interesting though it is, is not so foreign to ideas in the tradition within which Nagel wrote as Scerri would have us believe. Moreover, (...)
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