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Rafe_Furst comments on Reductionism - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: Rafe_Furst 22 April 2008 08:18:21PM 0 points [-]

It's not that reductionism is wrong, but rather that it's only part of the story. Additional understanding can be gleaned through a bottom-up, emergent explanation which is orthogonal to the top-down reductionist explanation of the same system.

It is important to take seriously the reality of higher level models (maps). Or alternatively to admit that they are just as unreal, but also just as important to understanding, as the lower level models. As Aaron Boyden points out, it is not a foregone conclusion that there is a most basic level.