Reduction in the Biomedical Sciences

In Miriam Solomon, Jeremy R. Simon & Harold Kincaid (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Medicine. New York, NY: Routledge (2016)
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Abstract

This chapter discusses several kinds of reduction that are often found in the biomedical sciences, in contrast to reduction in fields such as physics. This includes reduction as a methodological assumption for how to investigate phenomena like complex diseases, and reduction as a conceptual tool for relating distinct models of the same phenomenon. The case of Parkinson’s disease illustrates a wide variety of ways in which reductionism is an important tool in medicine.

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Holly Andersen
Simon Fraser University

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