There is heated debate at the moment among philosophers of science over the concepts of reduction and inter-theoretic explanation in the physical sciences. The emphasis put by some philosophers, in particular by NAGEL (1961), on the preservation of the entailment relations in a reduction situation has been contested by FEYERABEND (1962), and by many others since then. The storm would somewhat abate if in the physical sciences a distinction were made and kept between a logical and more or less formal notion of reduction, construed as a content- or meaning-preserving relation between theories, and a less easily circumscribed notion of inter-theoretic explanation, construed as a relation between theories following which the content of the “reducing” theory serves to elucidate the reasons why the content of the “reduced” theory is not in fact realized.
KeywordsLogical Reduction Ontological Commitment Natural Theory Entailment Relation Correct Translation
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