Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Explanatory pluralism (and emergence)

"reductionism that privileges a particular level of explanation over others neglects the fact that mechanisms of different scale are most appropriate for explaining different phenomena."  Paul Thagard in Hot Thought,MIT Press, 2006, page 272

The point is, we find patterns in time and in space at various different scales.  One need not describe the mating habits of butterflies in terms of the dynamics of quarks.

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