Pluralistic ontology and theory reduction in the physical sciences

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (3):295-312 (1988)
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Abstract

It is demonstrated that the reduction of a physical theory S to another one, T, in the sense that S can be derived from T holds in general only for the mathematical framework. The interpretation of S and the associated central terms cannot all be derived from those of T because of the qualitative differences between the cognitive levels of S and T. Their cognitively autonomous status leads to an epistemic as well as an ontological pluralism. This pluralism is consistent with the unity of nature in the sense of a substantive monism.

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Citations of this work

Effective Field Theories, Reductionism and Scientific Explanation.Stephan Hartmann - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (2):267-304.
Understanding electromagnetism.Gordon Belot - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (4):531-555.
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Local reduction in physics.Joshua Rosaler - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 50:54-69.

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References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
How the laws of physics lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
A confutation of convergent realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
The Structure of Science.Ernest Nagel - 1961 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):275-275.

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