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8 - Reductionism and Big Science

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 August 2020

John Greco
Affiliation:
Georgetown University, Washington DC
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Summary

Chapter 8 considers the widespread epistemic dependence that characterizes “big science,” and uses the information economy framework to dispel the worry that such dependence is inconsistent with the standards for scientific knowledge. This leads to a new argument against reductionism in the epistemology of testimony. First, reductionism is shown to be untenable for scientific knowledge. Second, if reductionism must be rejected for scientific knowledge, then it should be rejected more generally. This second idea can be vindicated in two ways. First, anti-reductionism about scientific knowledge entails anti-reductionism about knowledge in general, since anti-reductionism is best understood as the thesis that some transmitted knowledge cannot be reduced to generated knowledge. Second, if anti-reductionism is required for scientific knowledge, then reductionism for non-scientific knowledge is unmotivated. The most elegant position is anti-reductionism about knowledge transmission in general.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Reductionism and Big Science
  • John Greco, Georgetown University, Washington DC
  • Book: The Transmission of Knowledge
  • Online publication: 21 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108560818.009
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  • Reductionism and Big Science
  • John Greco, Georgetown University, Washington DC
  • Book: The Transmission of Knowledge
  • Online publication: 21 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108560818.009
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Reductionism and Big Science
  • John Greco, Georgetown University, Washington DC
  • Book: The Transmission of Knowledge
  • Online publication: 21 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108560818.009
Available formats
×