Aggregate, composed, and evolved systems: Reductionistic heuristics as means to more holistic theories [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):667-702 (2006)
Richard Levins’ distinction between aggregate, composed and evolved systems acquires new significance as we recognize the importance of mechanistic explanation. Criteria for aggregativity provide limiting cases for absence of organization, so through their failure, can provide rich detectors for organizational properties. I explore the use of failures of aggregativity for the analysis of mechanistic systems in diverse contexts. Aggregativity appears theoretically desireable, but we are easily fooled. It may be exaggerated through approximation, conditions of derivation, and extrapolating from some conditions of decomposition illegtimately to others. Evolved systems particularly may require analyses under alternative complementary decompositions. Exploring these conditions helps us to better understand the strengths and limits of reductionistic methods.
|Keywords||Aggregativity Heuristics Functional localization fallacies Reductionism Mechanism Complexity Intersubstitutability Nothing-but-ism Decomposability Invariance Richard Levins|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
William C. Wimsatt (2007). Re-Engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings: Piecewise Approximations to Reality. Harvard University Press.
Nancy Cartwright (1983). How the Laws of Physics Lie. Oxford University Press.
Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic & Amos Tversky (eds.) (1982). Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. Cambridge University Press.
Ernest Nagel (1961). The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation. Harcourt, Brace & World.
Elliott Sober (1986). The Nature of Selection. Behaviorism 14 (1):77-88.
Citations of this work BETA
Gil C. Santos (2015). Ontological Emergence: How is That Possible? Towards a New Relational Ontology. Foundations of Science 20 (4):429-446.
Mariam Thalos (2012). Solidarity: A Motivational Conception. Philosophical Papers 41 (1):57-95.
Paul E. Smaldino & Jeffrey C. Schank (2012). Human Mate Choice is a Complex System. Complexity 17 (5):11-22.
Stephen Pratten (2013). Critical Realism and the Process Account of Emergence. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 43 (3):251-279.
Similar books and articles
Richard Corry (2009). How is Scientific Analysis Possible? In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;.
J. T. Ismael (2011). Self-Organization and Self-Governance. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 41 (3):327-351.
Steven A. Cavaleri (2011). In Search of a Pragmatic Systems Method. World Futures 67 (4-5):266 - 281.
Dominic Murphy (2005). Can Evolution Explain Insanity? Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):745-766.
Gregory M. Mikkelson (2001). Complexity and Verisimilitude: Realism for Ecology. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 16 (4):533-546.
William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen (2008). From Reduction Back to Higher Levels. In B. C. Love, K. McRae & V. M. Sloutsky (eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society. pp. 559--564.
William C. Wimsatt (1998). Simple Systems and Phylogenetic Diversity. Philosophy of Science 65 (2):267-275.
William Bechtel (2010). The Downs and Ups of Mechanistic Research: Circadian Rhythm Research as an Exemplar. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 73 (3):313 - 328.
William C. Wimsatt (1997). Aggregativity: Reductive Heuristics for Finding Emergence. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):372-84.
William C. Wimsatt (2000). Emergence as Non-Aggregativity and the Biases of Reductionisms. Foundations of Science 5 (3):269-297.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads74 ( #65,846 of 1,925,583 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #140,581 of 1,925,583 )
How can I increase my downloads?