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Science in the Looking GlassWhat Do Scientists Really Know?$
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E. Brian Davies

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199219186

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199219186.001.0001

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Against Reductionism

Against Reductionism

(p.235) 9 Against Reductionism
Science in the Looking Glass

E. Brian Davies

Oxford University Press

The extraordinary development of physical science over the last two centuries has led to claims that it can explain all aspects of reality. Some scientists have proposed a programme called (scientific) reductionism, describing how this is to be achieved. This chapter argues that the world is too complex and inter-related for an explanation of everything to be possible. (‘possible’ means possible in fact, not possible in principle). Application of the reductionist method to biochemistry and cell physiology, money, information and complexity, and subjective consciousness are discussed.

Keywords:   reductionism, biochemistry, money, information complexity, subjective consciousness

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