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Functionalism, Reductionism, and Levels of Reality

Lorenzetti, Lorenzo (2023) Functionalism, Reductionism, and Levels of Reality. [Preprint]

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Abstract

I consider a problem for functional reductionism, based on the following tension. Say that b is functionally reduced to a. On the one hand, a and b turn out to be identical, and identity is a symmetric relation. On the other hand, functional reductionism implies that a and b are asymmetrically related: if b is functionally reduced to a, then a is not functionally reduced to b. Thus, we might ask: how can a and b be asymmetrically related, given that they are the same thing? I propose a solution to this tension by distinguishing between ontological levels and levels of description, building on List's formal account of levels.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Lorenzetti, Lorenzolorenzo.lorenzetti@bristol.ac.uk0000-0003-1565-283X
Additional Information: Forthcoming in 'Philosophy of Science'
Keywords: Functional reduction; Reductionism; Inter-theoretical reduction; Functionalism; Identity; Asymmetry; Levels
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Lorenzo Lorenzetti
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2023 20:57
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2023 20:57
Item ID: 21636
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Date: January 2023
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21636

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