Can there be “non gap” arguments against reductionism?

What is the problem with reductionism?

Reductionism can run the risk of distorting the bigger problem because the individual parts either were not meant to be separately analyzed or those parts get overgeneralized which creates gaps in the whole problem, the essence of Aristotle’s words.

What is a reductionist in philosophy?

reductionism, in philosophy, a view that asserts that entities of a given kind are identical to, or are collections or combinations of, entities of another (often simpler or more basic) kind or that expressions denoting such entities are definable in terms of expressions denoting other entities.

Why is reductionism a weakness?

Reductionist as it tries to explain complex behaviour with one influence. It doesn’t consider how other factors interact together in influencing behaviour which reduces the validity of the approach/debate.

Is reductionism A good way to understand humans?

One of the major benefits of reductionism is that it allows researchers to look at things that can be incredibly varied and complex such as the human mind and behavior, and break them down into smaller parts that are easier to investigate. It allows researchers to focus on a specific problem.

What are the limitations of reductionism?

Complexity has shown that reductionism is limited, in the sense that emergent properties cannot be reduced. In other words, the properties at a given scale cannot be always described completely in terms of properties at a lower scale. This has led people to debate on the reality of phenomena at different scales.

What is the opposite of reductionism?

The opposite of reductionism is ‘holism‘. This approach is traced back to a statement made by Aristotle in his ‘Metaphysics’:2 ‘The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

What is better holism or reductionism?

In brief, reductionism holds that the nature of complex entitities can always be understood by breaking them down into simpler or more fundamental components. Holism takes the contrary view that the whole can be more than the sum of its parts.

Is the biological approach reductionist?

The biological approach in psychology is highly reductionist in its approach to the complexity of human behavior and emotion.

What psychologists mean by levels of explanation?

The lowest level considers physiological (biological) explanations, where behaviour is explained in terms of neurochemicals, genes and brain structure; the middle level considers psychological explanations (e.g. cognitive and behavioural) and the highest level considers social and cultural explanations, where behaviour …

What is the reductionist hierarchy?

In his book The Blind Watchmaker, Dawkins introduced the term “hierarchical reductionism” to describe the opinion that complex systems can be described with a hierarchy of organizations, each of which is only described in terms of objects one level down in the hierarchy.

Is operant conditioning a reductionist?


operant conditioning is also reductionist as it fails to consider the impact of cognition and social and cultural norms with regard to dictating whether certain consequences are likely to be positively or negatively reinforcing or indeed punishing.

What are the different types of reductionism?

Reduction (reductionism) encompasses several, related philosophical themes. At least three types can be distinguished: ontological, methodological, and epistemic (Sarkar 1992; cf. Nagel 1998).

What is an example of reductionism?

Reductionists are those who take one theory or phenomenon to be reducible to some other theory or phenomenon. For example, a reductionist regarding mathematics might take any given mathematical theory to be reducible to logic or set theory.

What is the difference between reductionism and determinism?

Genetic reductionism is a similar concept, but it is distinct from genetic determinism in that the former refers to the level of understanding, while the latter refers to the supposedly causal role of genes.

What is holistic and reductionist view of life?

In psychology, holism is an approach to understanding the human mind and behavior that focuses on looking at things as a whole. It is often contrasted with reductionism, which instead tries to break things down into their smallest parts.

How is the humanistic approach not reductionist?

Humanistic psychology investigates all aspects of the individual as well as the interactions between people. Reductionist explanations undermine the indivisible unity of experience. They run counter to and ultimately destroy the very object of psychological enquiry.

Is the humanistic approach reductionist or holistic?

Humanistic psychology also advocates a holistic approach, as it argues that humans react to stimuli as an organised whole, rather than a set of stimulus-response links. As an approach, it uses qualitative methods to investigate all aspects of the individual, as well as the interactions between people.

Why is reductionism more scientific?

The use of a reductionist approach to behavior can be a useful one in allowing scientific study to be carried out. Scientific study requires the isolation of variables to make it possible to identify the causes of behavior. Breaking complicated behaviors down to small parts means that they can be scientifically tested.

Why is reductionism vs holism a debate?

The debate raises questions regarding the extent to which a theory explains a behaviour. A reductionist theory in order to explain a complex phenomena reduces its constituent parts. i.e behaviour is greatly simplified. This is unrepresentative of the true nature of human behaviour.

Is the social learning theory reductionist or holistic?


The behaviorist approach and social learning are reductionist; they isolate parts of complex behaviors to study. The behaviorists take the view that all behavior, no matter how complex, can be broken down into the fundamental processes of conditioning.