Single Idea 5791

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

Full Idea

One sense of 'reduction' is eliminative, in getting rid of a phenomenon by showing that it is really something else (as the earth's rotation eliminates 'sunsets'), but another sense does not get rid of it (as in the explanation of solidity by molecules).

Gist of Idea

Reduction is either by elimination, or by explanation


John Searle (The Mystery of Consciousness [1997], Ch.2)

Book Reference

Searle,John R.: 'The Mystery of Consciousness' [Granta 1997], p.29

A Reaction

These are bad analogies. You can't 'eliminate' a sunset - you just accept that the event is relative to a viewpoint. If we are discussing ontology, we will not admit the existence of sunsets, but we won't have an ontological category of 'solidity' either.