The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction, and Emergence

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Oxford University Press, Nov 29, 2001 - Philosophy - 160 pages
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Robert Batterman examines a form of scientific reasoning called asymptotic reasoning, arguing that it has important consequences for our understanding of the scientific process as a whole. He maintains that asymptotic reasoning is essential for explaining what physicists call universal behavior. With clarity and rigor, he simplifies complex questions about universal behavior, demonstrating a profound understanding of the underlying structures that ground them. This book introduces a valuable new method that is certain to fill explanatory gaps across disciplines.
 

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Contents

1 Introduction
3
2 Asymptotic Reasoning
9
3 Philosophical Theories of Explanation
23
4 Asymptotic Explanation
37
5 Philosophical Models of Reduction
61
6 Intertheoretic RelationsOptics
77
7 Intertheoretic RelationsMechanics
99
8 Emergence
113
9 Conclusions
131
Bibliography
137
Index
141
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