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Reductionism and Forum Conversations

  1. Mar 28, 2012 #1
    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.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2012 #2


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    Reductionism isn't as prevalent in science as is often made out

    In many biological disciplines from microbiology to medicine to psychology and even ecology there are approaches that employ reductionism and holism.
  4. Mar 28, 2012 #3
    Would any scientist openly admit that sometimes 2+2 equals 5 under certain, specific situations?
  5. Mar 28, 2012 #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.
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