Philosophical Models of Reduction

Robert W. Batterman

in The Devil in the Details

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780195146479
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833078 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Science

 Philosophical Models of Reduction

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This chapter begins with a discussion of Nagelian and neo‐Nagelian models of reduction. It also considers the multiple realizability argument against reduction of the special sciences and argues that one must think of multiple realizability as an instance of universality. This raises the possibility of providing an account of multiply realized regularities of the special sciences in analogy to that provided for universality in physics. Asymptotic methods provide these explanatory accounts. One particularly important consequence of the discussion is that one can have explanations of special sciences regularities in terms of lower‐level physical theory without having a reduction of the former to the latter.

Keywords: functional reduction; intertheoretic reduction; multiple realizability; Nagel; reduction; special sciences

Chapter.  8107 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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