John M wrote:
> Bruno and Brent:
> Are we back at the "Aris-total" i.e. the "sum" considered "more" than 
> its (material-only!) components? Complexity of an assemblage includes 
> more than what a reductionist 'component-analysis' can verify. 

But components are only part of a reductionist model - it also includes the 
interactions of the components, e.g how an electron interacts with a proton.  
To identify scientific reductionism with 'component-analysis' is a straw man.  
No one is satisfied with a reductionist model that just names components - the 
model must be able to go the other way and synthesize the behavior of the thing 
modeled.  Modeling a hydrogen atom as an electron interacting via photons with 
a proton is a successful model because it predicts behavoir of the hydrogen 
atom, e.g. it EM spectrum, its stability, the heat capacity of an H2 gas.

> functions, even out-of-boundary effects are active in identifying an item.
> It is in our many centuries old explanatory ways to say
> a proton and an electron make a H-atom and vice versa.
> First off: hydrogen (gas) is not the assemblage of H-atoms, it is an 
> observational item that - when destructed in certain ways - results in 
> other observables resembling H-atoms or even protons and electrons (if 
> you have the means to look at them - not in an n-th deduction and its 
> calculations).  

How small does n have to be?  Does n=0 correspond to seeing photons?

>Same with 'other' atoms - molecules, singularly or in 
> bunch. Reduced to a 2-D sketch. Nice game, I spent 50 years producing 
> such (macromolecules that is) and 'studied'/applied  them. Of course 
> none of the destruction-result carries the proper charactersitics of the 
> original ensemble. And NO proper 'observation' does exist.  

What's a "proper observation"? and why does its non-existence matter?

> It is the explanatory attempt for a world(part?) -  not understood, 
>  just regarded  as a model of whatever our epistemic enrichment has 
> provided to THAT time. This is the 'reducing': to visualize this part as 
> the total and utter   the Aristotelian maxim.
> One can not extrapolate 'total ensemble' characteristics  from studying 
> the so called parts we discovered so far.
> We can think only within our already acquired knowledge.

Then how can we ever acquire additional knowledge?  The whole point of models 
like particles is to extrapolate beyond what we can observed.  When such 
extrapolations agree with further observations we put greater credence in them. 
 When the credence is great enough we start taking the model to be "known" - at 
least until we find a problem with it.  This is nothing esoteric, it's the way 
we learn what tables and chairs are as well as protons and electrons.

Brent Meeker

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