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Towards a General Theory of Reduction. Part I: Historical and Scientific Setting

  • C.A. Hooker (a1)
Extract

The Three Papers comprising this series, together with my earlier [34] also published in this journal, constitute an attempt to set out the major issues in the theoretical domain of reduction and to develop (tentatively) a general theory of theory reduction. The fourth paper, [34], though published separately from this trio, is integral to the presentation and should be read in conjunction with these papers. Even so, the presentation is limited in scope – roughly, to intertheoretic reduction among empirical theories – and informal in presentation – not least because a satisfying formal account of theories has yet to be offered. And despite the length, the treatment is still condensed; often corroborating and/or intuitively helpful detail has had to be consigned to footnotes or omitted. I approach the problem from within my own naturalistic realist philosophy of science and formal analysis of abstract hierarchy in theory. The sources for the former are [25], [29], [31], and [32] and those for the latter essentially [27] and [30]. Hierarchical notions played a significant role in the already published [34].

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