Reductionism and Forum Conversations

In summary, this website is one that is very strict with regards to using standard dictionary definitions when discussing words. This is in contrast to other websites that do not care about using proper English.
  • #1
John Creighto
495
2
At least as far back as the Greeks people have been trying to understand things by looking at lower and lower levels to find the first principles which determine all things. We break things into their components, and then into materials and then into compounds and then into atoms. This works well for physics and chemistry but as much as we believe that people are governed by the laws of Quantum mechanics we cannot understand higher level organisms by these first principles.

By restricting the scope of a topic, subject, discipline or field it is easier to ensure what we focus on is relevant but with such tunnel vision, we may overlook the relationships between our area of focus and other well-known and important ideas. (as a side note this relates to what John Taylor Gatto’s calls: “The Lesson of Confusion”. Where he says everything is taught in a disconnected way. Remember that the process of connecting ideas together helps us to remember them. The more we try to simplify things by breaking them down. The less interesting we will find the subject and the harder it will be for us to retain what is learned.)

Now with regards to a forum conversation, I understand that keeping the subject narrow helps to keep what is discussed as a coherent hole. However, if the focus is too narrow, the topic may become uninteresting and stifle relevant conversation.

Thoughts?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductionism
 
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  • #2
John Creighto said:
At least as far back as the Greeks people have been trying to understand things by looking at lower and lower levels to find the first principles which determine all things. We break things into their components, and then into materials and then into compounds and then into atoms. This works well for physics and chemistry but as much as we believe that people are governed by the laws of Quantum mechanics we cannot understand higher level organisms by these first principles.
Reductionism isn't as prevalent in science as is often made out
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_biology

In many biological disciplines from microbiology to medicine to psychology and even ecology there are approaches that employ reductionism and holism.
 
  • #3
Would any scientist openly admit that sometimes 2+2 equals 5 under certain, specific situations?
 
  • #4
That sounds like fun. Let's all make up our own private languages while we're at it and spout endless gibberish. NOT! Communication requires compromise and if you aren't willing to compromise then just don't and see how far it gets you.

As for this website, it is one of the very few online that even demands people use standard dictionary definitions of words. If you don't like it, there are plenty more that don't.
 
  • #5


Reductionism is a useful tool in science, but it is important to recognize its limitations. As the content mentions, it works well for understanding physical and chemical systems, but it may not be as effective when applied to higher level organisms or complex systems. This is because these systems involve emergent properties that cannot be fully explained by breaking them down into their individual components. Therefore, we must also consider the relationships and interactions between these components in order to fully understand these systems.

Similarly, in forum conversations, it is important to strike a balance between keeping the topic narrow enough to maintain coherence, but also broad enough to allow for relevant and interesting discussions. Too much reductionism in the conversation may limit the potential for new ideas and connections to be made, while too little may lead to a lack of focus and direction.

In science and in conversation, it is important to recognize the value of reductionism while also acknowledging its limitations. By incorporating different levels of analysis and considering the relationships between them, we can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the world around us.
 

Related to Reductionism and Forum Conversations

What is reductionism?

Reductionism is the philosophical approach of explaining complex phenomena by reducing them to their most basic components. It assumes that complex systems and concepts can be understood by breaking them down into smaller, simpler parts.

How does reductionism apply to forum conversations?

In the context of forum conversations, reductionism can refer to the act of simplifying or oversimplifying a complex topic or issue. It can also refer to the tendency to reduce a person's argument or viewpoint down to a single, simplistic element rather than considering the whole picture.

What are the potential benefits of reductionism in forum conversations?

Reductionism can help to clarify and distill complex ideas into more easily understandable concepts. It can also help to identify key issues and arguments within a conversation, making it easier to address them effectively.

What are the potential drawbacks of reductionism in forum conversations?

Reductionism can lead to oversimplification and a lack of nuance in discussions, as well as disregarding important aspects of a topic or argument. It can also limit the depth of understanding and hinder the ability to find creative solutions to complex problems.

How can we strike a balance between reductionism and holistic thinking in forum conversations?

It is important to recognize the value of both reductionism and holistic thinking in forum conversations. Finding a balance between the two involves actively listening to different perspectives and considering the complexity of the issue at hand. It also involves being open to new ideas and being willing to re-examine and refine our own understanding of a topic.

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