Share this entry

Share this page

reductionism

Line breaks: re|duc¦tion|ism
Pronunciation: /rɪˈdʌkʃ(ə)nɪz(ə)m
 
/

Definition of reductionism in English:

noun

[mass noun] often derogatory
The practice of analysing and describing a complex phenomenon in terms of its simple or fundamental constituents, especially when this is said to provide a sufficient explanation.
Example sentences
  • The main enemies are psychologism, reductionism, idealism, and the distortion of the phenomena by philosophical systems.
  • That does not require that in embracing naturalism one also embrace determinism, physicalism, and reductionism.
  • In contrast to reductionism, there is the view that testimony is itself a ‘basic’ source of warrant.

Derivatives

reductionist

1
noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • Contrary to what your consult implies in his response, I am not a vitalist, a reductionist, or a physicalist.
  • This kind of reductionist approach is not a new idea in philosophy.
  • I think it's a bit reductionist to move it to being equivalent with evil; that's not what I intended in the original post.

reductionistic

2
Pronunciation: /-ˈnɪstɪk/
adjective
Example sentences
  • The scientific method is necessarily reductionistic.
  • Davies has written several books decrying the tendency of scientists to be overly reductionistic in their analyses.
  • So please forgive me if this comes across as superficial and reductionistic.

Definition of reductionism in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day prepotent
Pronunciation: prɪˈpəʊt(ə)nt
adjective
greater than others in power or influence