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Beyond ReductionPhilosophy of Mind and Post-Reductionist Philosophy of Science$
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Steven Horst

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195317114

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195317114.001.0001

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Reductionism and Eliminativism Reconsidered

Reductionism and Eliminativism Reconsidered

(p.67) 4 Reductionism and Eliminativism Reconsidered
Beyond Reduction

Steven Horst (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the implications of recent philosophy of science for reductionism. The motivations for both normative and positive forms of reductionism are grounded in the assumptions that intertheoretic reductions are widespread in the sciences and serve as a norm for the legitimacy of the special sciences. Both of these assumptions are undercut by recent post-reductionist turns in philosophy of science. If intertheoretic reductions are in fact rare in the sciences, then we have no special reason to expect them in the case of psychology. However, if it is “explanatory gaps all the way down, ” we also have no reason to view the gaps between mind and body as presenting special problems.

Keywords:   reduction, philosophy of science, explanatory gap

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