Reduction, Explanation, and Realism (Clarendon Paperbacks)

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9780198751311: Reduction, Explanation, and Realism (Clarendon Paperbacks)

What is reduction? Must all discussions of the mind, value, color, biological organisms, and persons aim to reduce these to objects and properties that can be studied by more basic, physical science? Conversely, does failure to achieve a reduction undermine the legitimacy of higher levels of description or explanation? Though reduction has long been a favorite method of analysis in all areas of philosophy, in recent years philosophers have attempted to avoid these traditional alternatives by developing an account of higher-level phenomena which shows them to be grounded in, but not reducible to, basic physical objects and properties. The contributors to this volume examine the motivations for such anti-reductionist views, and assess their coherence and success, in a number of different fields, including moral and mental philosophy, psychology, organic biology, and the social sciences.

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About the Author:

David Charles is at Oriel College, Oxford. Kathleen Lennon is at University of Hull.

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"The essays are largely nontechnical and accessible to advanced undergraduates. Recommended for any library supporting at least a major in philosophy or psychology."--Choice


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