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Reduction as an A Posteriori Relation

Rosaler, Joshua (2016) Reduction as an A Posteriori Relation. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Reduction between theories in physics is often approached as an a priori relation in the sense that reduction is often taken to depend only on a comparison of the mathematical structures of two theories. I argue that such approaches fail to capture one crucial sense of “reduction,” whereby one theory encompasses the set of real behaviors that are well-modeled by the other. Reduction in this sense depends not only on the mathematical structures of the theories, but also on empirical facts about where our theories succeed at describing real systems, and is therefore an a posteriori relation.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Rosaler, Joshuajrosaler@gmail.com
Keywords: reduction, emergence, a priori, a posteriori, limits, bridge function, physics, quantum gravity
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Dr. Joshua Rosaler
Date Deposited: 19 May 2016 02:30
Last Modified: 19 May 2016 02:30
Item ID: 12099
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: 17 May 2016
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12099

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