On 26 Aug, 17:37, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I should stress, again, I'm not personally committed to this view - it
> seems indeed highly problematic - but it is what the recipe says.
> Now, just to emphasise the point, when I say it's a hard thing to do
> this imaginatively, I mean that it isn't permissible to "look back"
> from this reductionist-god's eye view and continue to conjure familiar
> composite entities from the conjectural base components, because
> reductionism is a commitment to the proposition that these don't
> exist.

not at all. reductionism is a commitment to the idea that
all higher level entities are compounds and nothing but compounds,
which are exactly the sums of their parts.

>Whatever composite categories we might be tempted to have
> recourse to - you know: molecules, cells, bodies, planets, ideas,
> explanations, theories, the whole ball of wax - none of these are
> available from this perspective.  Don't need them.  More rigorously,
> they *must not be invoked* because they *do not exist*.  They don't
> need to exist, because the machine doesn't need them to carry all the
> load and do all the work.

OTOH, they must exist because if you have two hydrogens and an oxygen,
you inevitably have the compound H2O. You also have many other
compounds which are not
dreamt of in our philosophy. the set of compounds is basically the
powerset of the set of basic entities. there may not be any objective
facts about what is a "true" compound, but the powerset
unproblematically includes everything we conventionally regard as a
compound as a powerset

> Now, many people might be prompted to object at this point "that's not
> reducing, that's eliminating" as though these terms could be kept
> distinct.  But I'm arguing that reductionism, consistently applied, is
> inescapably eliminative.  The hypothesis was that base-level events
> are self-sufficient and consequently must be granted metaphysical (and
> hence "physical") reality.  Nothing else is required to explain why
> the machine exists and works, so nothing else need - or indeed can non-
> question-beggingly - be postulated.

Compounds aren't postulated as some separate set  of entities--they
are just set theoretic constructs put of what does exsit. H2O is not
distinct from the two H's and the O.

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