Theory Reduction by Means of Functional Sub‐types

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (1):1 – 17 (2007)
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The paper sets out a new strategy for theory reduction by means of functional sub-types. This strategy is intended to get around the multiple realization objection. We use Kim's argument for token identity (ontological reductionism) based on the causal exclusion problem as starting point. We then extend ontological reductionism to epistemological reductionism (theory reduction). We show how one can distinguish within any functional type between functional sub-types. Each of these sub-types is coextensive with one type of realizer. By this means, a conservative theory reduction is in principle possible, despite multiple realization. We link this account with Nagelian reduction, as well as with Kim's functional reduction.



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Author Profiles

Christian Sachse
University of Lausanne
Michael Esfeld
University of Lausanne

Citations of this work

Robustness and reality.Markus I. Eronen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):3961-3977.
The modal nature of structures in ontic structural realism.Michael Esfeld - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):179 – 194.
Scientific Reduction.Raphael van Riel & Robert Van Gulick - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Multiple realization by compensatory differences.Kenneth Aizawa - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (1):69-86.

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