Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Reductionism, philosophy: reductionism is a collective term for attempts, to either trace back statements in a subject area to statements from a sub-area of this subject area or equating statements of a subject area with statements of another subject area. The main point here is the justification of such transfers. Reductionism in the narrower sense is the thesis that reduction is possible. Typical reductionisms exist in the domain of the philosophy of mind. See also holism, eliminativism, materialism, physicalism, functionalism.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Logic Texts on Reductionism - Dictionary of Arguments

Read III 28
Reductionism: was central for Wittgenstein. For Russell it was quite clear that the assumption of an additional fact between two statements was absurd and unnecessary:
E.g. "Kennedy is President," and "Oswald killed Kennedy," a third fact, a sort of conjunctural fact that makes the connection absurd and lavish.
>Atomism, >Atomic sentences.
If you know the two separate facts, you learn nothing new when you connect them. There is no extra fact behind the link, which is added to the separated facts. Similar to disjunctive. What makes "A or B" true is not another strange disjunctive fact, but exactly the same fact that makes one of the two limbs true!
Otherwise regress.
III 30
Reductionism: would have to declare the truth of a negative statement like "Ruby did not kill Kennedy" as the result of the truth of another statement that would be incompatible with "Ruby killed Kennedy."
III 31
RussellVsReductionism: argues against such argumentation that a regress threatens: "B is incompatible with A" is itself a negative statement. To explain its truth, we would need a third statement C which is incompatible with "C is compatible with A," and so on.
ReadVsRussell: this is a strange objection, because it would also be valid against any conjunction. And then truth conditions for conjunctive and disjunctive statements must not be subjunctive or disjunctive.
>Disjunction, >Conjunction.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Logic Texts
Me I Albert Menne Folgerichtig Denken Darmstadt 1988
HH II Hoyningen-Huene Formale Logik, Stuttgart 1998
Re III Stephen Read Philosophie der Logik Hamburg 1997
Sal IV Wesley C. Salmon Logic, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 1973 - German: Logik Stuttgart 1983
Sai V R.M.Sainsbury Paradoxes, Cambridge/New York/Melbourne 1995 - German: Paradoxien Stuttgart 2001
St. Read
Thinking About Logic: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Logic. 1995 Oxford University Press
German Edition:
Philosophie der Logik Hamburg 1997

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