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Structuralist Reduction Concepts as Structure-Preserving Maps

Thomas Mormann
Synthese
Vol. 77, No. 2 (Nov., 1988), pp. 215-250
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20116590
Page Count: 36
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Structuralist Reduction Concepts as Structure-Preserving Maps
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to characterize the various structuralist reduction concepts as structure-preserving maps in a succinct and unifying way. To begin with, some important intuitive adequacy conditions are discussed that a good (structuralist) reduction concept should satisfy. Having reconstructed these intuitive conditions in the structuralist framework, it turns out that they divide into two mutually incompatible sets of requirements. Accordingly there exist (at least) two essentially different types of structuralist reduction concepts: the first type stresses the existence of a deductive or inferential link between the reducing and the reduced theory; the second type emphasizes the greater explanatory power the reducing theory should have in comparison with the reduced theory. The problem of the incompatibility of equally plausible reduction concepts is treated in the last section and a proposal is made for its solution consisting in the definition of a multiple synthetizing reduction relation.

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