Questioning Nineteenth-Century Assumptions about Knowledge, II: Reductionism

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Richard E. Lee
SUNY Press, Oct 8, 2010 - Philosophy - 217 pages
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During the last few decades, the fundamental premises of the modern view of knowledge have been increasingly called into question. Questioning Nineteenth-Century Assumptions about Knowledge II: Reductionism provides an in-depth look at the debates surrounding the status of “reductionism” in the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities in detailed and wide-ranging discussions among experts from across the disciplines. Whether or not there is or should be a basic epistemological stance that is different in the sciences and humanities, and whether or not such a stance as exemplified by the approach to reductionism is changing, has enormous consequences for all aspects of knowledge production. Featured are an overview and subsequent discussion of this pervasive concept in the social sciences that parses reductionism into the categories of strong social constructionism and anti-essentialism, social ontology and the apathetic actor, dualisms, and individualism. Also of interest in chapters and follow up discussions are the relations between essentialism and emergentism in complex systems theory.
 

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Contents

I N T R O D U C T I O N
1
S E S S I O N I Reductionism in Social Science
5
D I S C U S S I O N
40
S E S S I O N I I Emergence and Complex Systems1
57
D I S C U S S I O N
90
S E S S I O N I I I Reduction and Emergence in Complex Systems
107
D I S C U S S I O N
160
S E S S I O N I V Organizers Opening Remarks
167
JeanPierre Dupuy
171
Aviv Bergman
173
D I S C U S S I O N
176
I N D E X
193
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About the author (2010)

Richard E. Lee is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Fernand Braudel Center at Binghamton University, State University of New York. He is the author of Life and Times of Cultural Studies: The Politics and Transformation of the Structures of Knowledge and the coeditor (with Immanuel Wallerstein) of Overcoming the Two Cultures: Science versus the Humanities in the Modern World-System.

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