reductionism

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reductionism

[riduk′shəniz′əm]
an approach that tries to explain a form of behavior or an event in terms of a specific category of phenomena, such as biological, psychological, or cultural, negating the possibility of an interrelation of causal phenomena.

reductionism

an erroneous belief that complex situations may be explained by reducing them to their component parts and explaining these.

reductionism(rē·dukˑ·sh·niˑ·zm),

n a tenet of the modern bioscientific approach to knowledge according to which anything complex can be explained primarily in terms of its simpler components.

reductionism

policy of reducing subjects to its parts in an attempt to simplfy the understanding of the whole. The opposite of holism.
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13) Whereas many Western reductionists treat the reduced level as ontologically inferior, most Buddhist Reductionists treat both levels as almost equally real.
Thus, on my gloss, Buddhist Reductionists who accept physics must conclude that no conventional things (items of valid perceptual/phenomenal experience) have inherent natures that ground the use of names--there are no natural kinds--unless (like atomists who now say physics' "atoms" are not really atoms) they are willing to say Abhidharma "dhammas" are not really dhammas, but physics' quanta are.
Because perceivable phenomena have magnitude, there are no atoms; thus, again, for the mereological reductionist there is no ultimate reality.
The Buddhist Reductionist can claim we hit rock bottom when we arrive at trope-quanta, the first micro-level populated by homogeneous entities, because further divisions only exist mathematically/conceptually, and Buddhist ultimate reality is what exists independent of our conceptualizations.
One might hope that whereas purely physical items subject the mereological reductionist to the dilemma of infinitely divisible magnitude, because tropes are mentality-involving they are not entirely physical, so they escape this dilemma.
Strong reductionists such as Parfit argue that because personhood is not some further and additional fact over and above the continuity of mental experience, it follows that the notion of a person continuing through time is merely a conventional means of referring to this psychological continuity.
Reductionists have not usually delved into the varieties of mental experience or sought to argue that certain types of psychological continuity are more critical than others to the preservation of moral responsibility.
There is little doubt that mental reductionists view memory as a prime connector of ourselves with our past.
It is these qualitative differences between present and past selves that affect a person's desert for past conduct (at least for reductionists who have not abandoned the notion of desert entirely).
Some commentators have argued that Parfit's reductionist theory of personal identity leads to anomalous or unwarranted conclusions about what punishment a person might deserve.
The reductionist must provide some: if the possibility of (7) is taken to be a brute modal fact, insupportable by argument, then its rejection can hardly be ruled inadmissible.
David Lewis (1976) holds what might reasonably be interpreted as a reductionist view while arguing that relation R and personal identity cannot diverge (although I agree with Parfit that his argument fails).