Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dr Kreeft Refutes Reductionism

Hat Tip to Vivicat for reference to an article by Dr Peter Kreeft, entitled "A Philosophical Refutation of Reductionism", at the Catholic Education Resource Center website refuting reductionism.

Reductionism is the philosophical attempt to explain something complex by "reducing" it to a simple, basic element. For an (admittedly simplistic) example, The Holy Bible's message might be reduced to "God wants us to be good".

Of course, this omits the complexity of nuance that constitutes the true meaning of such a reductionist statement. Ultimately, reductionism is a logical positivist variety of relativism in that to achieve the reductionist result of the deduction one must make choices of criteria that betray the presuppositions of the process.

Somewhat like statistics, or the speeches of politicians.

Anyroad, read the article here.

1 comment:

west_rhino said...

Somehow reductionism leads me to the "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy's" entry for earth, "mostly harmless" (amended, as most know, by Ford Prefect from "harmless".)

Feeding lambs, perhaps the milk of "God wants us to be good" offers some colostrum for children, but sheep are malnourished on that diet.

 
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