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Being ReducedNew Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation$
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Jakob Hohwy and Jesper Kallestrup

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199211531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199211531.001.0001

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Reduction and Reductive Explanation: Is One Possible Without the Other?

Reduction and Reductive Explanation: Is One Possible Without the Other?

(p.93) 5 Reduction and Reductive Explanation: Is One Possible Without the Other?
Being Reduced

Jaegwon Kim (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that only the functional model of reduction provides both reduction and reductive explanation. Some philosophers believe that even if reduction is not possible, reductive explanations are still feasible. But what really is a ‘reductive’ explanation? And how are reduction and reductive explanation related to each other? The chapter discusses these and related questions for the three principal types of reduction: bridge-law reduction, identity reduction, and functional reduction. It argues that bridge-law reduction gives us neither reduction nor reductive explanation and that identity reductions do reduce, but they also eliminate a need for such explanations. In contrast, functional reductions deliver reductive explanations and they yield token reductions. Concerning the properties supposedly reduced through functionalisation, the chapter settles for ‘functional property conceptualism’, which appears to be a form of eliminativism.

Keywords:   reduction, reductive explanation, bridge laws, identity, funtionalisation, token reduction, properties, conceptualism, eliminativism

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