Contributions from the Philosophy of Science

Robin Collins

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780199543656
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Contributions from the Philosophy of Science

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This article provides an alternative to reductionism, and briefly indicates its potential for providing a powerful ontological, epistemological, and methodological framework for the science and religion dialogue. This alternative grows out of considering quantum mechanics – the extraordinarily paradoxical theory that is widely either misunderstood or ignored. This alternative is called the non-reductive intelligibility view. Although the discussion critiques emergent complexity, it holds that all alternatives to reductionism should continue to be rigorously developed. The article begins by explicating a common form of reductionism, ‘compositional reductionism’, and examines why quantum mechanics presents serious difficulties for it.

Keywords: science–religion dialogue; reductionism; quantum mechanics; non-reductive intelligibility; emergent complexity; compositional reductionism

Article.  7835 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religion and Science ; Philosophy of Religion

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