Reductionism

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  • The attempt to analyze or explain the entities, properties, or concepts in one domain in terms of those of another. Reductions can take a variety of forms. A conceptual reduction might attempt to analyze the concepts of one area, such as the nonobservational vocabulary of a physical theory, in terms of those of another, such as the observational vocabulary. An ontological reduction might attempt to account for the entities of one scientific domain, such as biology, in terms solely of the entities of another, such as physics. An epistemological reduction might analyze the knowledge claims of one domain, such as mathematics, in terms of those of another, such as logic.

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