Single Idea 22180

[catalogued under 7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 2. Reduction]

Full Idea

Philosophers have often invoked multiple realisability to explain why psychology cannot be reduced to physics or chemistry, but in principle the explanation works for any higher-level science.


'Multiple realisability' is implemented in many ways

Gist of Idea

Multiple realisability is said to make reduction impossible


Samir Okasha (Philosophy of Science: Very Short Intro (2nd ed) [2016], 3)

Book Reference

Okasha,Samir: 'Philosophy of Science: very short intro (2nd ed)' [OUP 2016], p.52

A Reaction

He gives the example of a 'cell' in biology, which can be implemented in all sorts of ways. Presumably that can be reduced to many sorts of physics, but not just to one sort. The high level contains patterns that vanish at the low level.