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The Devil in the DetailsAsymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction, and Emergence$
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Robert W. Batterman

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195146479

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195146476.001.0001

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Philosophical Models of Reduction

Philosophical Models of Reduction

(p.61) 5 Philosophical Models of Reduction
The Devil in the Details

Robert W. Batterman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of Nagelian and neo‐Nagelian models of reduction. It also considers the multiple realizability argument against reduction of the special sciences and argues that one must think of multiple realizability as an instance of universality. This raises the possibility of providing an account of multiply realized regularities of the special sciences in analogy to that provided for universality in physics. Asymptotic methods provide these explanatory accounts. One particularly important consequence of the discussion is that one can have explanations of special sciences regularities in terms of lower‐level physical theory without having a reduction of the former to the latter.

Keywords:   functional reduction, intertheoretic reduction, multiple realizability, Nagel, reduction, special sciences

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