Showing posts from January, 2021

Does quantum indeterminism defeat reductionism? (Response to Coel Hellier)

  KM: I’m grateful to Coel Hellier ( @colhellier ) for writing a blogpost in response to one I wrote arguing that if determinism falls, it takes reductionism with it. Rather than expect people to bounce back and forth between these posts, I have pasted Coel’s entire blog and intercalated my responses, in bold, below. For clarity, I have color-coded his excerpts from my original blog in blue: After writing a piece on the role of metaphysics in science, which was a reply to neuroscientist Kevin Mitchell, he pointed me to several of his articles including one on reductionism and determinism. I found this interesting since I hadn’t really thought about the interplay of the two concepts. Mitchell argues that if the world is intrinsically indeterministic (which I think it is), then that defeats reductionism. We likely agree on much of the science, and how the world is, but nevertheless I largely disagree with his article.   Let’s start by clarifying the concepts. Reductionism asserts