Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Pragmatic Holism

By Bruce Edmonds

Abstract

The reductionist/holist debate seems an impoverished one, with many participants appearing to adopt a position first and constructing rationalisations second. Here I propose an intermediate position of pragmatic holism, that irrespective of whether all natural systems are theoretically reducible, for many systems it is completely impractical to attempt such a reduction, also that regardless if whether irreducible `wholes' exist, it is vain to try and prove this in absolute terms. This position thus illuminates the debate along new pragmatic lines, and refocusses attention on the underlying heuristics of learning about the natural world

Topics: Philosophy of Science
Year: 1996
OAI identifier: oai:cogprints.org:1774

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (1993). Bionics Revisited. In: The Machine as Metaphor and T ool. (Eds: Haken,H; Karlquist,A; Svedin,U)
  2. (1995). Category Theory and the Foundations of Mathematics: Philosophical Excavations.
  3. (1994). Classical vs Non-classical Logics (The Univiversality of Classical Logic). In: Handbook of Logic,
  4. (1972). Complexity and Organisation. In:
  5. (1978). Complexity and the limits to knowledge.
  6. (1980). Computability.
  7. (1995). Computation Beyond the Turing Limit.
  8. (1987). Intelligence in eye, the brain and the computer .
  9. (1991). Life Itself - A Comprehensive Enquiry into the Nature, Origin and Fabrication of Life.
  10. (1992). Models of Reduction and Categories of Reductionism.
  11. (1936). On Computable Numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem.
  12. (1985). Organisms as Causal Systems Which Are Not Mechanisms: An Essay into the Nature of Complexity . In: Theoretical Biology and Complexity: Three Essays on the Natural Philosophy of Complex Systems.
  13. (1967). Quantal noise and information.
  14. (1991). Self-Modifying Systems in Biology and Cognitive Science: A New Framework for Dynamics, Information and Complexity.
  15. (1983). Situations and Attitudes.
  16. (1981). The Architecture of Complexity,
  17. (1977). The First Three Minutes.
  18. (1990). The symbol grounding problem.
  19. (1966). Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.