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Antireductionism Has Outgrown Levels

Potochnik, Angela (2021) Antireductionism Has Outgrown Levels. [Preprint]

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Positing levels of explanation has played an important role in philosophy of science. This facilitated the advocacy of antireductionism of explanations, which, at its most basic, is the idea that scientific explanations citing large (i.e. non-microphysical) entities will persist. The idea that explanations come in levels captures important features of explanatory practices, and it also does well at helping to define different positions one might take regarding explanatory reductionism or antireductionism. Yet the idea that explanations come in levels has also led philosophers astray. This systematically misconstrues the relationship different explanations bear to one another, suggests candidate explanations are less numerous than they in fact are, and occludes recognition of how the selection of explanations can vary across research projects. Antireductionists about explanation should move on from talk of levels. Or so I will argue.

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Item Type: Preprint
Potochnik, Angela0000-0002-0448-591X
Keywords: scientific explanation, levels of explanation, antireductionism
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Depositing User: Angela Potochnik
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2021 18:29
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2021 18:29
Item ID: 19483
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Date: 2021

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