Reductionism, Emergence and Levels of Reality

The Importance of Being Borderline

Authors: Chibbaro, Sergio, Rondoni, Lamberto, Vulpiani, Angelo

  • Covers the subtle matters of reduction and emergence from the informed perspective of physicists
  • With a foreword from the Wolf Prize laureate Sir Michael Berry
  • Also of interest to philosophers of science, reductionists as well as non-reductionists
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-06361-4
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Hardcover $109.00
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-06360-7
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Softcover $109.00
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  • Due: November 3, 2016
  • ISBN 978-3-319-35642-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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About this book

Scientists have always attempted to explain the world in terms of a few unifying principles. In the fifth century B.C. Democritus boldly claimed that reality is simply a collection of indivisible and eternal parts or atoms. Over the centuries his doctrine has remained a landmark, and much progress in physics is due to its distinction between subjective perception and objective reality. This book discusses theory reduction in physics, which states that the whole is nothing more than the sum of its parts: the properties of things are directly determined by their constituent parts. Reductionism deals with the relation between different theories that address different levels of reality, and uses extrapolations to apply that relation in different sciences. Reality shows a complex structure of connections, and the dream of a unified interpretation of all phenomena in several simple laws continues to attract anyone with genuine philosophical and scientific interests. If the most radical reductionist point of view is correct, the relationship between disciplines is strictly inclusive: chemistry becomes physics, biology becomes chemistry, and so on. Eventually, only one science, indeed just a single theory, would survive, with all others merging in the Theory of Everything. Is the current coexistence of different sciences a mere historical venture which will end when the Theory of Everything has been established? Can there be a unified description of nature?
Rather than an analysis of full reductionism, this book focuses on aspects of theory reduction in physics and stimulates reflection on related questions: is there any evidence of actual reduction? Are the examples used in the philosophy of science too simplistic? What has been endangered by the search for (the) ultimate truth? Has the dream of reductionist reason created any monsters? Is big science one such monster? What is the point of embedding science Y within science X, if predictions cannot be made on that basis?

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • A Galilean Dialogue on the Levels of Reality

    Chibbaro, Sergio (et al.)

    Pages 1-19

  • A Random Journey from Monism to the (Dream of) Unity of Science

    Chibbaro, Sergio (et al.)

    Pages 21-44

  • A First Attempt to Tame Complexity: Statistical Mechanics

    Chibbaro, Sergio (et al.)

    Pages 45-69

  • From Microscopic Reversibility to Macroscopic Irreversibility

    Chibbaro, Sergio (et al.)

    Pages 71-97

  • Determinism, Chaos and Reductionism

    Chibbaro, Sergio (et al.)

    Pages 99-120

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-06361-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-06360-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $109.00
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at 1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (Weekdays 8:30am – 5:30pm ET) to place your order.
  • Due: November 3, 2016
  • ISBN 978-3-319-35642-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Reductionism, Emergence and Levels of Reality
Book Subtitle
The Importance of Being Borderline
Authors
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-06361-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-06361-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-06360-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-35642-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXI, 154
Number of Illustrations and Tables
9 b/w illustrations, 4 illustrations in colour
Topics