Reductionism is the view that a whole is nothing but the sum of its parts. Whenever one level, domain, or whole is analyzed as nothing more than another, it is said to be reduced to that other. The whole does not impart meaning to its parts; rather, the parts are the meaning of the whole. It is a methodological claim in that the study of anything consists in reducing it to the study of its parts and an ontological claim in that it denies that wholes are anything more than the sum of its parts, and it may include the stronger claim that wholes are not actually real. This position attempts to understand any object of inquiry, such as physical objects, situations, phenomena, explanations, theories, ...

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