Conservative Reductionism

1st Edition

Michael Esfeld, Christian Sachse

Routledge
Published November 28, 2017
Reference - 204 Pages
ISBN 9780815371892 - CAT# K338268
Series: Routledge Studies in the Philosophy of Science

For Instructors Request Inspection Copy

was $51.95

USD$41.56

SAVE ~$10.39

Add to Wish List
FREE Standard Shipping!

Summary

Conservative Reductionism sets out a new theory of the relationship between physics and the special sciences within the framework of functionalism. It argues that it is wrong-headed to conceive an opposition between functional and physical properties (or functional and physical descriptions, respectively) and to build an anti-reductionist argument on multiple realization. By contrast, (a) all properties that there are in the world, including the physical ones, are functional properties in the sense of being causal properties, and (b) all true descriptions (laws, theories) that the special sciences propose can in principle be reduced to physical descriptions (laws, theories) by means of functional reduction, despite multiple realization. The book develops arguments for (a) from the metaphysics of properties and the philosophy of physics. These arguments lead to a conservative ontological reductionism. It then develops functional reduction into a fully-fledged, conservative theory reduction by means of introducing functional sub-types that are coextensive with physical types, illustrating that conservative reductionism by means of case studies from biology (notably the relationship between classical and molecular genetics).

Instructors

We provide complimentary e-inspection copies of primary textbooks to instructors considering our books for course adoption.

Request an
e-inspection copy

Share this Title