Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Reductionism, philosophy: reductionism is a collective term for attempts, to either trace back statements in a subject area to statements from a sub-area of this subject area or equating statements of a subject area with statements of another subject area. The main point here is the justification of such transfers. Reductionism in the narrower sense is the thesis that reduction is possible. Typical reductionisms exist in the domain of the philosophy of mind. See also holism, eliminativism, materialism, physicalism, functionalism.
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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

W.V.O. Quine on Reductionism - Dictionary of Arguments

Quine VII (b) 40
Reductionism/QuineVsCarnap: his space time quadrupel set preuppose a sedentary world - the quadruples still increase the set of the general properties. Refined form of reductionism: any incident either increases the probability (likelihood) of a statement or deminishes it.
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Schiffer I 2
QuineVsReductionism: the semantic cannot be reduced to more fundamental facts because of the indeterminacy of translation - so he saw the whole semantics skeptical.
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Quine IV 412
Def Reductionism (radical form): according to him, every single meaningful expression can be translated into an expression of immediate experience.
QuineVsReductionism: radical form: erroneous translatability of individual observations into individual expressions. >HolismVs.
>Holism
.
Weaker form: still the idea: each (synthetic) statement is clearly assigned a certain range of sensory irritations. (False).
Vs:Reactions to sensory stimuli are not rigid in humans. (>"Super Spartan"/Putnam).
Two dogmas: 1. Reductionism
2. Differentiation analytic/synthetic.
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VII (b) 39
Radical Reductionism/Quine: 1. Example: Carnap's translation into sense data language plus logical notation plus higher set theory.
Empiricism/Quine: is often wasteful in its ontology.
Carnap: was the first empiricist to consistently reduce.
VII (b) 40
But his work is still just a fragment of the whole program.
His space-time-point quadruples presuppose a world with little movement ("laziest world"). Principle of least movement, should be the guideline for the construction of a world from experience.
QuineVsCarnap: did not appear to notice that his treatment of physical objects lacked reduction! The quadruples maximize and minimize certain general characteristics (over all features) and with increasing experience the truth values are revised in the same sense.
But this does not help to see how a statement of the form "property q is at x,y,z,t" could ever be translated into Carnap's original sense data language and logic.
Problem: the "is on" remains an undefined connection. The canon shows us how to use it, but not how to eliminate it! Carnap later recognized this and no longer used it.
Reductionism/Dogma/Quine: 2. more refined form: each utterance is associated with a uniform range of possible sensations, so that each occurrence increases either the likelihood of the truth of the statement.
VII (b) 41
or diminishes it.
This is of course included in the verification theory.
Quine Thesis: (comes from Carnap's "structure"): our statements stand before the tribunal of experience not individually, but as a whole corpus.
>Quine-Duhem thesis.

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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Quine I
W.V.O. Quine
Word and Object, Cambridge/MA 1960
German Edition:
Wort und Gegenstand Stuttgart 1980

Quine II
W.V.O. Quine
Theories and Things, Cambridge/MA 1986
German Edition:
Theorien und Dinge Frankfurt 1985

Quine III
W.V.O. Quine
Methods of Logic, 4th edition Cambridge/MA 1982
German Edition:
Grundzüge der Logik Frankfurt 1978

Quine V
W.V.O. Quine
The Roots of Reference, La Salle/Illinois 1974
German Edition:
Die Wurzeln der Referenz Frankfurt 1989

Quine VI
W.V.O. Quine
Pursuit of Truth, Cambridge/MA 1992
German Edition:
Unterwegs zur Wahrheit Paderborn 1995

Quine VII
W.V.O. Quine
From a logical point of view Cambridge, Mass. 1953

Quine VII (a)
W. V. A. Quine
On what there is
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (b)
W. V. A. Quine
Two dogmas of empiricism
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (c)
W. V. A. Quine
The problem of meaning in linguistics
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (d)
W. V. A. Quine
Identity, ostension and hypostasis
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (e)
W. V. A. Quine
New foundations for mathematical logic
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (f)
W. V. A. Quine
Logic and the reification of universals
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (g)
W. V. A. Quine
Notes on the theory of reference
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (h)
W. V. A. Quine
Reference and modality
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (i)
W. V. A. Quine
Meaning and existential inference
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VIII
W.V.O. Quine
Designation and Existence, in: The Journal of Philosophy 36 (1939)
German Edition:
Bezeichnung und Referenz
In
Zur Philosophie der idealen Sprache, J. Sinnreich (Hg), München 1982

Quine IX
W.V.O. Quine
Set Theory and its Logic, Cambridge/MA 1963
German Edition:
Mengenlehre und ihre Logik Wiesbaden 1967

Quine X
W.V.O. Quine
The Philosophy of Logic, Cambridge/MA 1970, 1986
German Edition:
Philosophie der Logik Bamberg 2005

Quine XII
W.V.O. Quine
Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, New York 1969
German Edition:
Ontologische Relativität Frankfurt 2003

Quine XIII
Willard Van Orman Quine
Quiddities Cambridge/London 1987

Schi I
St. Schiffer
Remnants of Meaning Cambridge 1987

Quine XIII
Willard Van Orman Quine
Quiddities Cambridge/London 1987


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2024-03-01
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