Philosophy Lexicon 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 Item Summary Meta data
II Patricia Smith Churchland Die Neurobiologie des Bewusstseins - Was können wir von ihr lernen? In Hügli/Lübcke (Hrsg) Philosophie im 20. Jahrhundert, Reinbek 1993
II 464
Reductionism/Churchland: Thesis: I am a reductionist. This does not mean that a pure bottom up strategy should be pursued.
     I also do not mean that descriptions of higher levels would be dubious in themselves.
There are clearly higher-level properties, and so there is a need for corresponding descriptions.
Definition Bottom up/Churchland: is the opinion according to which one must first know everything about the molecular basis before the psychological processes can be achieved.
But this is not a reductionism either.
II 468
VsReductionism/other authors:
A) The goal is absurd. Stereotype critique: "I cannot imagine that pain should consist of any activity patterns of neurons"
ChurchlandVsVs: that is nothing more than the impotence of the imagination.
II 470
Vs Reductionism: if a macro-phenomenon can be the result of more than one mechanism (organization and dynamics of the components), then it cannot be identified with one of these mechanisms. The reduction of the macro-phenomenons on a single micro-phenomenon is then not possible. (> "Multiple realizability").
II 471
Reductionism/Churchland: when the mechanism of a biological process has been discovered, it may be possible to invent devices that mimic these processes.
The reductive success is not denied. Just as little, perhaps, that there might be DNAs in other parts of the universe.
Reductionism/Churchland: It is not easy to argue VsReductionism and not to fall into dualism. (VsSearle).

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.

Churla I
Paul M. Churchland
Matter and Consciousness Cambridge 2013

Churli I
Patricia S. Churchland
Touching a Nerve: Our Brains, Our Brains New York 2014

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-06-22