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Models pp 12-23 | Cite as

Reduction, Explanation and Ontology

[1962]
  • Marx W. Wartofsky
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 48)

Abstract

In recent discussion of reduction in the sciences and its philosophical interpretation, the point has been made in different ways (by Carnap,1 Nagel,2 Quine,3 Oppenheim and Putnam,4 Bunge,5 Popper,6 and Hospers,7 among others) that reductive explanation does not necessarily entail ontological reduction, that what is reductively explained is not necessarily explained away, and that reduction is not simply a case of elimination of the reference of reduced terms or reduced theories.

Keywords

Ontological Commitment Ontological Status Extensional Identity Ontological Question Reductive Explanation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    R. Carnap, ‘The Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts,’ Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, I, (Univ. of Minn. Press, 1956), pp. 74–5.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    E. Nagel, The Structure of Science, (Harcourt Brace & World, N. Y. 1961), Chapter 11.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    W. V. Quine, Word and Object, (Technology Press, 1960), p. 265.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    P. Oppenheim, and H. Putnam, ‘Unity of Science as a Working Hypothesis,’ Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, II, pp. 3–29.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    M. Bunge, Metascientific Queries, (Challes C. Thomas, Springfield, Ill., 1959), pp. 108–123.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    K. Popper, ‘Three Views Concerning Human Knowledge,’ Contemporary British Philosophy, 3rd Series, ed. H. D. Lewis, pp. 383–4.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. Hospers, ‘What is Explanation?’ Journal of Philosophy, (1946), reprinted in Essays in Conceptual Analysis, (Macmillan, 1960), pp. 94–119.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    I. Scheffler, ‘Prospects of a Modest Empiricism,’ The Review of Metaphysics, X, 3–4, (1957).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    P. Feyerabend, ‘Reduction, Explanation and Empiricism’, Minnesota Studīes, III, 962, pp. 28–95.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    R. Carnap, ‘Testability and Meaning,’ reprinted in Feigl and Broadbeck, Readings in Philosophy of Science, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1953, p. 67.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nagel, Op. Cit., p. 366.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ibid., p. 364, 368.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Quine, Loc. Cit. Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Oppenheim and Putnam, Op. Cit. Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bunge, Op. Cit. Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    R. Carnap, ‘Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology,’ reprinted in Meaning and Necessity, Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1956, enlarged edition. Second edition, p. 207.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    G. Maxwell, ‘Theories, Frameworks and Ontology,’ Philosophy of Science, 29, 2, (April 1962), p. 133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Quine, Op. Cit., p. 234.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    W. James, Pragmatism, Lecture 5, New York: Meridian Edition, p. 126.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    K. Popper, Op. Cit., p. 384.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    W. James, ‘What is an Emotion?’, Mind, 1884, reprinted in Psychology Classics, I, (Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, Md., 1922), p. 13.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    W. James, Psychology, (1893), p. 373.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    W. Sellars, ‘The Language of Theories,’ Current Issues in Philosophy of Science, ed. Feigl & Maxwell, (Holt Rhinehart Winston, N.Y. 1961), p. 76.Google Scholar
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    J. Lederberg, ‘A View of Genetics,’ Science, (1960), 13, 3396, p. 269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Cf. Carnap, R., Meaning and Necessity, Second Edition, (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1956), pp. 36, 84.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cf. Nagel, Op. Cit., pp. 363–64, on the claims concerning reducibility as ‘temporally qualified questions.’Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marx W. Wartofsky

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