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Reductionism vs holism

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and a bit of verstehen

and a bit of verstehen

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Transcript

  • 1. Reductionism vs. Holism
  • 2. Does a group have a “character” that isdifferent from the individuals that make it up? A football team may consist of elevengreat players and yet do badly in a league. How?
  • 3. Reductionismreduces complex phenomena to the interactions of their parts
  • 4. Reductionism reduces complex phenomena to the interactions of their partsa complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts
  • 5. Reductionism reduces complex phenomena to the interactions of their partsa complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts Newtonian, linear
  • 6. thermodynamics=mechanics heat=motion of molecules
  • 7. consider applying reductionism to the Human Sciences Economics
  • 8. consider applying reductionism to the Human Sciences Economics Psychology
  • 9. consider applying reductionism to the Human Sciences Economics Psychology Biology
  • 10. consider applying reductionism to the Human Sciences Economics Psychology Biology Physics
  • 11. reductive fallacies
  • 12. the whole is“more than” the sum of its parts
  • 13. the whole is“more than” the sum of its parts organization
  • 14. What aboutthe human body?
  • 15. Is the sum of the parts equal to the whole?Or does the “whole” have characteristics that are “more than” the sum?
  • 16. Is the sum of the parts equal to the whole?Or does the “whole” have characteristics that are “more than” the sum?
  • 17. a few words from John Cleese: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M-vnmejwXo
  • 18. Holism The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.The whole contains properties that cannot be discovered through the analysis of parts
  • 19. “HOLISM is … simply the belief that ‘the whole isgreater than the sum of its parts’. No one in hisright mind could reject holism.“REDUCTIONISM is … simply the belief that ‘awhole can be understood completely if youunderstand its parts, and the nature of their “sum”’.No one in her left brain could rejectreductionism.” (Hofstadter 1980: 312)
  • 20. how do we resolve this?
  • 21. how do we resolve this?
  • 22. Verstehen Position“the main aim of the human sciences is to understand themeaning of various social practices from the inside as they are understood by the subjects themselves.”
  • 23. meanings and purposes vs. causes and effects
  • 24. meanings and purposes vs. causes and effectsdescribe and understand vs. explain and predict
  • 25. describe and understand vs. explain and predict
  • 26. meaning vs. mechanism
  • 27. please read “Predictions” p.279-280
  • 28. and complete the chart