<philosophical terminology> belief that statements or expressions of one sort can be replaced systematically by statements or expressions of a simpler or more certain kind. Thus, for example, some philosophers have held that arithmetic can be reduced to logic, that the mental can be reduced to the physical, or that the life sciences can be reduced to the physical sciences. Recommended Reading: Ernest Nagel, Structure of Science (Hackett, 1979); Richard H. Jones, Reductionism: Analysis and the Fullness of Reality (Bucknell, 2000); Reduction, Explanation and Realism, ed. by David Charles and Kathleen Lennon (Oxford, 1993); Valerie Gray Hardcastle, How to Build a Theory in Cognitive Science (SUNY, 1996); and Harold Kincaid, Individualism and the Unity of Science (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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