What is the opposite of reductionist?

Asked By: Isaiah Mendoza | Last Updated: 6th June, 2020
Category: medical health mental health
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The opposite of reductionism is holism, that understanding a system can be done only as a whole. One form of antireductionism (epistemological) holds that we simply are not capable of understanding systems at the level of their most basic constituents, and so the program of reductionism must fail.

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People also ask, what is non reductionism?

Non-reductionism is the stance that explanations can be complete at their own level and need not be justified by other levels of explanation (such as biology, or physics etc.).

Secondly, what is reductionism vs holism? Reductionism is when complex behaviours are separated into simpler components, in contrast, the holism approach looks at it as a whole. Reductionism can overlook other causes behind behaviour and is in danger of over-simplifying human behaviour.

Correspondingly, what is a reductionist approach?

Reductionism is an approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things. Emergentism (or Emergence), which claims that complex systems and patterns arise (emerge) out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.

What is an example of reductionism?

Examples of Reductionism in Biology Looking closely at DNA is a great example of reductionism. The molecule contains genes that code for physical and behavioral expressions of an organism. Another common example of reductionism in biology is the concept of development.

23 Related Question Answers Found

What is a reductionist in psychology?

In psychology, reductionism refers to a theory that seems to over-simplify human behavior or cognitive processes, and in doing so, neglects to explain the complexities of the mind.

Is Marxism a reductionist?

Marx wasn't a crude reductionist, but he did believe that the way in which society organized production ultimately shaped people's attitudes and beliefs.

What's wrong with reductionism?

The problem with reductionism, at least as naively applied, is that it misses emergent properties of the system. Reductionism says that emergent properties are nothing more than the sum of the reduced properties applied over a very large scale.

What is cultural reductionism?

Reductionism is any of several related philosophical ideas regarding the associations between phenomena which can be described in terms of other simpler or more fundamental phenomena. Methodological reductionism: the scientific attempt to provide explanation in terms of ever smaller entities.

Who came up with reductionism?


The earliest reductionist philosopher was Thales, born around 636 BC at Miletus in Asia Minor. He hypothesized that the universe was made out of water—water being the fundamental substance of which all others were composed. Reductionism was later re-introduced by Descartes in Part V of his Discourses.

What is reductive analysis?

employing an analysis of a complex subject into a simplified, less detailed form; of, pertaining to, or employing reductionism; reductionistic.

What is reductionism in criminology?

Reductionism is a viewpoint that regards one phenomenon as entirely explainable by the properties of another phenomenon. The first can be said to be reducible to the second. An opposite form of reductionism is sociological reductionism. This reduces psychological phenomena to epiphenomena of social factors.

What does holism mean in psychology?

Holistic Psychology
Holism refers to any approach that emphasizes the whole rather than their constituent parts. In other words 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts'. Qualitative methods of the humanistic approach reflect a holistic position. Social psychology also takes a holistic view.

Is social learning theory reductionist?

The behaviourist approach and social learning are reductionist; they isolate parts of complex behaviours to study. The behaviourists take the view that all behaviour, no matter how complex, can be broken down into the fundamental processes of conditioning.

Is the biological approach nature or nurture?


Theories within the biological approach support nature over nurture. However, it is limiting to describe behavior solely in terms of either nature or nurture, and attempts to do this underestimate the complexity of human behavior.

Is psychoanalysis a reductionist?

Psychoanalysis: Overview
Psychoanalysis raises many theoretical questions, chiefly on account of its apparent commitment to both mechanistic, reductionist modes of psychological explanation, and a hermeneutical conception of explanation as a matter of grasping relations of meaning.

Why is reductionism useful in biology?

Summary. The reductionist method of dissecting biological systems into their constituent parts has been effective in explaining the chemical basis of numerous living processes. Reductionists analyse a larger system by breaking it down into pieces and determining the connections between the parts.

Is the cognitive approach scientific?

Basic Assumptions
Cognitive psychology is a pure science, based mainly on laboratory experiments. Behaviour can be largely explained in terms of how the mind operates, i.e., the information processing approach. The mind works in a way similar to a computer: inputting, storing and retrieving data.

What is Nomothetic approach?

The term “nomothetic” comes from the Greek word “nomos” meaning “law”. Psychologists who adopt this approach are mainly concerned with studying what we share with others (i.e. similarities between people). Therefore, the nomothetic approach involves establishing laws or generalizations that apply to all people.

What is genome lag?


It is also called “Genome lag”. Therefore, traits that were at one time adaptive in a certain environment are now maladaptive. “mismatched" to the environment that the trait is currently present in. (

What is holism in nursing?

Holistic Nursing is defined as “all nursing practice that has healing the whole person as its goal” (American Holistic Nurses' Association, 1998). This often leads the nurse to greater awareness of the interconnectedness of self, others, nature, spirit and relationship with the global community.

What is an example of biological approach?

Biological factors such as chromosomes, hormones and the brain all have a significant influence on human behaviour, for example, gender. The biological approach believes that most behaviour is inherited and has an adaptive (or evolutionary) function.