Authors
Paul Needham
Stockholm University
Abstract
Despite all the criticism showered on Nagel’s classic account of reduction, it meets a fundamental desideratum in an analysis of reduction that is difficult to question, namely of providing for a proper identification of the reducing theory. This is not clearly accommodated in radically different accounts. However, the same feature leads me to question Nagel’s claim that the reducing theory can be separated from the putative bridge laws, and thus to question his notion of heterogeneous reduction. A further corollary to the requirement that all the necessary conditions be incorporated in an adequate formulation of the putative reducing theory is that the standard example of gas temperature is not reducible to average molecular kinetic energy. As originally conceived, Nagel’s conception of reduction takes no account of approximate reasoning and this failure has certainly restricted its applicability, perhaps to the point of making it unrealistic as a model of reduction in science. I suggest approximation can be accommodated by weakening the original requirement of deduction without jeopardizing the fundamental desideratum. Finally, I turn to briefly consider the idea sometimes raised of the ontological reducibility of chemistry.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2009.06.006
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,920
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Making Sense of Emergence.Jaegwon Kim - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):3-36.
1953 and All That. A Tale of Two Sciences.Philip Kitcher - 1984 - Philosophical Review 93 (3):335-373.
On Reduction.John Kemeny & Paul Oppenheim - 1956 - Philosophical Studies 7 (1-2):6 - 19.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Nagel on Reduction.Sahotra Sarkar - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 53:43-56.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Nagelian Reduction Beyond the Nagel Model.Raphael van Riel - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (3):353-375.
Why It Is Time To Move Beyond Nagelian Reduction.Marie I. Kaiser - 2012 - In D. Dieks, W. J. Gonzalez, S. Hartmann, M. Stöltzner & M. Weber (eds.), Probabilities, Laws, and Structures. The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective. Heidelberg, GER: Springer. pp. 255-272.
Reduction and Abduction in Chemistry‐a Response to Scerri.Paul Needham - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):169 – 184.
What is It Like to Be an Aardvark?B. R. Tilghman - 1991 - Philosophy 66 (July):325-38.
Two Concepts of Intertheoretic Reduction.Thomas Nickles - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (April):181-201.
Reduction Revisited.Emma Ruttkamp - 2006 - South African Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):102-112.
Frege's Reduction.Patricia A. Blanchette - 1994 - History and Philosophy of Logic 15 (1):85-103.
Consciousness and Reduction.Ausonio Marras - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (2):335-361.
Approaches to Reduction.Kenneth F. Schaffner - 1967 - Philosophy of Science 34 (2):137-147.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-09-13

Total views
134 ( #76,870 of 2,439,290 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #434,168 of 2,439,290 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes