Reductionism in Science: Order from Chaos or Order from Ideas?

Feb 3, 2017
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Open to current university students and faculty. Lunch will be served.

Join us for a discussion with physicist Stephen Barr on his article from First Things on the philosophical assumptions behind a tendency toward reductionism in the natural sciences.

"This tendency to downgrade and diminish reflects a metaphysical prejudice that equates explanatory reduction with a grim slide down the ladder of being. Powerful explanatory schemes reveal things to be simpler than they appear. What simpler means in science is much discussed among philosophers—it is not at all a simple question. But to many materialists it seems to mean lower, cruder, and more trivial. By this way of thinking, the further we push toward a more basic understanding of things, the more we are immersed in meaningless, brutish bits of matter."