Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Perplexed comments on Reductionism - Less Wrong

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

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (150)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: Perplexed 03 February 2011 12:45:31PM 3 points [-]

Ah! Good point. And now that it is explained, good analogy.

I still have some reservations about Eliezer's approach to reductionism/anti-holism and his equation of the idea of "emergence" with some kind of mystical mumbo-jumbo. But this is a complicated subject and philosophers of science much more careful than myself have addressed it better than I can.

Thank you, though, for pointing out that my argument in this thread can be refuted so easily simply by taking Eliezer a little less literally. Electrons at one level reduce to electrons at a lower level. But the two uses of the word 'electron' in the above sentence refer to different (though closely related) entities. As closely related as A and {A}. You are right. Cool.

Comment author: timtyler 03 February 2011 10:33:29PM 0 points [-]

Strong emergence is mystical mumbo-jumbo.

I don't think scientists should waste too much of their terminology on that sort of thing, though.