Construction by reduction

Philosophy of Science 62 (1):1-20 (1995)
Scientists employ a variety of procedures to eliminate degrees of freedom from computationally and/or analytically intractable equations. In the process, they often construct new models and discover new concepts, laws and functional relations. I argue these procedures embody a central notion of reduction, namely, the containment of one structure within another. However, their inclusion in the philosophical concept of reduction necessitates a reevaluation of many standard assumptions about the ontological, epistemological and functional features of a reduction. On the basis of the reevaluation, I advocate a continuum of reduction which proceeds from the eliminative to the constructive. The metaphysical aspects of theory use in constructive reductions are sketched.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/289835
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,157
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Non-Reductive Physicalism and Degrees of Freedom.Jessica M. Wilson - 2010 - British Journal for Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311.
Non-Reductive Physicalism and Degrees of Freedom.J. Wilson - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311.
An Ideal Solution to Disputes About Multiply Realized Kinds.Colin Klein - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (2):161 - 177.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Kim on Reduction.Ausonio Marras - 2002 - Erkenntnis 57 (2):231-57.
Identity-Based Reduction and Reductive Explanation.Raphael van Riel - 2010 - Philosophia Naturalis 47 (1-2):183-219.
Is Functional Reduction Logical Reduction?Max Kistler - 2005 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (14):219-234.
When Reduction Leads to Construction: Design Considerations in Scientific Methodology.Jeffry L. Ramsey - 1993 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7 (3):241 – 253.
Theory Reduction by Means of Functional Sub-Types.Michael Esfeld & Christian Sachse - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (1):1 – 17.
Does Functional Reduction Need Bridge Laws? A Response to Marras.Kevin Morris - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):647-657.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

16 ( #296,158 of 2,163,675 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #348,043 of 2,163,675 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums