--- Stathis Papaioannou
> 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
> >
> >
> >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

I feel compelled to address this point since I use the
'reductionist' denomination a lot lately and got lots
of different aspects to it. 
The sense I USE the term stems from my wholistic view,
to consider the totality interconnected and in unison.
Our present mind-level cannot compose all of that into
its activity (performed by the tool of a limited
brain) so as a modus vivendi we consider parts as unit
models. Such limited models can be topical,
ideational, or functional, they are REDUCED from the
totality for our comfort. This is the way humans can
think and this is the way conventional sciences apply
their cut domains.
For that reason I disagree with Bruno when he
wrote:"...that a thoroughly "scientific attitude" is
automatically anti- reductionnist". It would be vague
if not restricted to its domain. However: reductionist
science (model-wise observation) gave us our knowledge
of the world (no judgement on its quality) and our
technology we enjoy.
I find it objectionable when those model-restricted
observations serve for beyond-model conclusions, when
the explanations turn universal from select percepts. 

There are many (and different) identifications for the
term, mine is the practical restriction for my own
use. I don't want to sell it, just explain how I use

Your 'mental states' are figments of the model you use
as neural physiology. You reduce the 'mental' into a
physiological cut in brainfunction-model and visualize
conclusions 'without' based on observations 'within'.
I leave it open, because our epistemy is incomplete as
far as thinking is concerned. The neurological model
in reductionism is important in its practical uses. 
When Georges calls the universe and the numbers-based
concept 'isomorh' he speaks about a match in two
models both in the 'number-type' restriction. Infinite
totality cannot be 'isomorph'. Not even with "another"
infinite totality. 

John M

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