- In its most general usage, the term reductionism denotes any intellectual strategy for reducing apparently diverse phenomena to some primary or basic explanatory principle. For example, reductionist forms of materialism as applied to the natural sciences have attempted to explain the distinctive properties and powers of living beings in terms of the concepts and laws of chemistry. Attempts to explain patterns of difference in measured human intelligence, or social differences between men and women, in terms of genetic or physiological differences are commonly criticized by sociologists as examples of misguided biological reductionism . Some forms of Marxism , in which economic relations are supposed wholly to determine social and political life, are also commonly criticized as economic reductionism. Distinctions may usefully be made between logical reduction, in which the aim is to reduce the laws of the more superficial science to the more basic one; semantic reduction, in which the language of one science is defined in terms of the other; and explanatory reduction, in which the aim is to show that the phenomena of one science can be explained as effects of mechanisms identified in another.
Dictionary of sociology. 2013.
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reducţionism — REDUCŢIONÍSM s.n. Modalitate de explicare sau interpretare a unor fenomene, structuri sau valori complexe ale realităţii sau ale cunoaşterii, prin reducerea lor la concepte, structuri, legi sau configuraţii mai simple. ♦ Simplificare excesivă.… … Dicționar Român
reductionism — 1948, in philosophy, from REDUCTION (Cf. reduction) + ISM (Cf. ism). Related: Reductionist … Etymology dictionary
reductionism — [ri duk′shəniz΄əm] n. any method or theory of reducing data, processes, or statements to seeming equivalents that are less complex or developed: usually a disparaging term reductionist n., adj. reductionistic adj … English World dictionary
Reductionism — Descartes held that non human animals could be reductively explained as automata De homine, 1662. Reductionism can mean either (a) an approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or… … Wikipedia
Reductionism — a number of related, contentious theories that hold, very roughly, that the nature of complex things can always be reduced to (be explained by) simpler or more fundamental things. This is said of objects, phenomena, explanations, theories, and… … Mini philosophy glossary
reductionism — reductionist, n., adj. reductionistic, adj. /ri duk sheuh niz euhm/, n. 1. the theory that every complex phenomenon, esp. in biology or psychology, can be explained by analyzing the simplest, most basic physical mechanisms that are in operation… … Universalium
reductionism — (reductivism ) A reductionist holds that the facts or entities apparently needed to make true the statements of some area of discourse are dispensable in favour of some other facts or entities. Reductionism is one solution to the problem of the… … Philosophy dictionary
reductionism — noun Date: 1943 1. explanation of complex life science processes and phenomena in terms of the laws of physics and chemistry; also a theory or doctrine that complete reductionism is possible 2. a procedure or theory that reduces complex data and… … New Collegiate Dictionary
reductionism — re·duc·tion·ism ri dək shə .niz əm n 1) the attempt to explain all biological processes by the same explanations (as by physical laws) that chemists and physicists use to interpret inanimate matter also the theory that complete reductionism is… … Medical dictionary
reductionism — noun a) an approach to studying complex systems or ideas by reducing them to a set of simpler components b) any of several theories holding that complex systems or ideas can always be reduced to a set of simpler components See Also: reductionist … Wiktionary