Bruno Marchal writes:

>Le 11-mars-06, à 10:59, Georges Quénot wrote (to John):
>
><snip>
>
>
> >
> > Yes also and indeed, the way of thinking I presented
> > fits within a reductionist framework. Nobody is required
> > to adhere to such a framework (and therefore to the way
> > of thinking I presented). If one rejects the reductionist
> > approach, all I can say isn't even worth reading it for
> > him. And, again, all of this is pure speculation.
>
>
>Personally I disagree with any reductionist approach. But, given that I
>agree with many of your statement, perhaps we have a "vocabulary"
>problem.
>I do even believe that a thoroughly "scientific attitude" is
>automatically anti-reductionnist, whatever theories are used. Science,
>being modest, just cannot be reductionist(*).
>Even the numbers are nowadays no more completely reductible to any
>"unifying theory".
>Only pseudo-scientist (or some scientist during the week-end) can be
>reductionist.

I'm afraid I don't understand the version of reductionism to which you so 
strongly object. Are you perhaps referring to the mistake of trying to 
explain too much with too little? Or are you referring to what Daniel 
Dennett has called "greedy reductionism": where something is not so much 
explained in terms of what it reduces to as dismissed or explained away, 
like saying there is no such thing as mental states because it's all just 
neurophysiology? Well, it is "all just neurophysiology", in that the 
neurophysiology is necessary and sufficient for the mental states. The 
mental states in this sense can be said to reduce to the underlying brain 
states. But this is not the same as saying that the mental states therefore 
do not exist, or are not important.

Stathis Papaioannou

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