Unfolding the Enfolded...

Cosmos, Mind & Soul

Reductionism

Intro

Reductionism is the dominant scientific worldview.

 

A number of related theories form what is referred to as the reductionist science and worldview. This prevailing perspective is based on a belief that the nature things can be explained by smaller and more basic constituent elements. This hierarchical view of science assumes that physic is most basic, followed by chemistry and biology, with sociology and psychology at the top of the reductionist pyramid.

Reductionism stands in opposition to holism, an emerging scientific worldview based on the Platonic belief that the sum is greater than the parts.

Note that both reductionism and holism are, ultimately, belief-based; their fundamental, given assumptions are accepted as articles of faith.

Reductionism is similar to the process of detailing just described in science. But where science as science is indifferent (i.e., value neutral) to the common sense or metaphysical status of the object of which the details are a part, reductionism is an attitude of radical skepticism or hostility to the object or entity studied and finds the ultimate meaning of the "object" not in its inherent qualities but in the parts which compose it and in the lateral relation of those parts.
[On Reductionism]

Worth Noting

The Dogma of Randoness

Robert Tabor suggests that

[I]n explaining the formation and evolutionary development of living systems, in order to preserve reductionism, the idea of randomness was the only "driving force" which was allowed as an explanation. That kind of discipline served well to separate science from superstitions, but based on certain observations such as the formation and puzzling rapid progression of the development of life forms, one cannot but wonder whether what has become a dogmatic adherence to randomness as being the only permissible " vital force" in complex structure formation may not have become a superstition in its own right. [Tabor]