The reductionist blind spot

Authors


Abstract

Can there be higher level laws of nature even though everything is reducible to the fundamental laws of physics? The computer science notion of level of abstraction explains how there can be. The key relationship between elements on different levels of abstraction is not the is-composed-of relationship but the implements relationship. I take a scientific realist position with respect to (material) levels of abstraction and their instantiation as (material) entities. They exist as objective elements of nature. Reducing them away to lower order phenomena produces a reductionist blind spot and is bad science. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Complexity, 2009.

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