Conservative Reductionism

Routledge (2011)

Abstract

_Conservative Reductionism_ sets out a new theory of the relationship between physics and the special sciences within the framework of functionalism. It argues that it is wrong-headed to conceive an opposition between functional and physical properties and to build an anti-reductionist argument on multiple realization. By contrast, all properties that there are in the world, including the physical ones, are functional properties in the sense of being causal properties, and all true descriptions that the special sciences propose can in principle be reduced to physical descriptions by means of functional reduction, despite multiple realization. The book develops arguments for from the metaphysics of properties and the philosophy of physics. These arguments lead to a conservative ontological reductionism. It then develops functional reduction into a fully-fledged, conservative theory reduction by means of introducing functional sub-types that are coextensive with physical types, illustrating that conservative reductionism by means of case studies from biology

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Author's Profile

Christian Sachse
University of Lausanne

References found in this work

Proper Function and Recent Selection.Peter H. Schwartz - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):210-222.
A Multiple Realization Thesis for Natural Kinds.Kevin Lynch - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (3):389-406.

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Citations of this work

Scientific Reduction.Raphael van Riel & Robert Van Gulick - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Philosophy of Science in Germany, 1992–2012: Survey-Based Overview and Quantitative Analysis.Matthias Unterhuber, Alexander Gebharter & Gerhard Schurz - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):71-160.
Reductionism Today.Michael Esfeld - 2013 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 17:89-101.

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