[SydPhil] Reminder: Sahorta Sankar, University of Texas @ Wed 16 Apr 2014 15:30 - 17:30 (Seminars)

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Thu Apr 10 15:29:48 AEST 2014

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Title: Sahorta Sankar, University of Texas

This paper attempts a critical reappraisal of Nagel's (1961, 1970) model of  
reduction taking into account both traditional criticisms and recent  
defenses. This model treats reduction as a type of explanation in which a  
reduced theory is explained by a reducing theory after their relevant  
representational items have been suitably connected. In accordance with the  
deductive-nomological model, the explanation is supposed to consist of a  
logical deduction. Nagel was a pluralist about both the logical form of the  
connections between the reduced and reducing theories (which could be  
conditionals or biconditionals and their epistemological status (as  
analytic connections, conventions, or synthetic claims). This paper defends  
Nagel's pluralism on both counts and, in the process, argues that the  
multiple realizability objection to reductionism is misplaced. It also  
argues that the Nagel model correctly characterizes reduction as a type of  
explanation. However, it notes that logical deduction must be replaced by a  
broader class of inferential techniques that allow for different types of  
approximation. Whereas Nagel (1970), in contrast to his earlier position  
(1961), recognized the relevance of approximation, he did not realize its  
full import for the model. Throughout the paper two case studies are used  
to illustrate the arguments: the putative reduction of classical  
thermodynamics to the kinetic theory of matter and that of classical  
genetics to molecular biology.
When: Wed 16 Apr 2014 15:30 - 17:30 Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney
Where: Muniment Room, Main Quad, Univ of Sydney
Calendar: Seminars
     * Dalia Nassar- creator

Event details:  

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