Nagel's analysis of reduction: Comments in defense as well as critique

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Despite all the criticism showered on Nagel’s classic account of reduction, it meets a fundamental desideratum in an analysis of reduction that is difficult to question, namely of providing for a proper identification of the reducing theory. This is not clearly accommodated in radically different accounts. However, the same feature leads me to question Nagel’s claim that the reducing theory can be separated from the putative bridge laws, and thus to question his notion of heterogeneous reduction. A further corollary to the requirement that all the necessary conditions be incorporated in an adequate formulation of the putative reducing theory is that the standard example of gas temperature is not reducible to average molecular kinetic energy. As originally conceived, Nagel’s conception of reduction takes no account of approximate reasoning and this failure has certainly restricted its applicability, perhaps to the point of making it unrealistic as a model of reduction in science. I suggest approximation can be accommodated by weakening the original requirement of deduction without jeopardizing the fundamental desideratum. Finally, I turn to briefly consider the idea sometimes raised of the ontological reducibility of chemistry.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
NEENAO
Revision history
Archival date: 2015-11-21
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
The Ontological Autonomy of the Chemical World.Lombardi, Olimpia & Labarca, Martín

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Who’s Afraid of Nagelian Reduction?Dizadji-Bahmani, Foad; Frigg, Roman & Hartmann, Stephan
Nagel on Reduction.Sarkar, Sahotra

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2010-09-13

Total views
107 ( #25,141 of 42,333 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
15 ( #32,154 of 42,333 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.