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Jack comments on Reductionism - Less Wrong

40 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 16 March 2008 06:26AM

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Comment author: Jack 07 March 2010 06:08:56PM 7 points [-]

Really? I think of reductionism as maybe the greatest, most wildly successful abductive tool in all of history. If we can't explain some behavior or property of some object it tells us one good guess is to look to the composite parts of that thing for the answer. The only other strategy for hypothesis generation I can think of that has been comparably successful is skepticism (about evidence and testimony). "I was hallucinating." and "The guy is lying" have explained a lot of things over the years. Can anyone think of others?