A Synopsis Of The Similiarities And Differences Of The Emergent Theory And The Reductionist Theory In Explaining The World

475 words - 2 pages

Reductionism and The Emergent TheoryThroughout time people have always has the desire to understand the world around them. In this pursuit of knowledge many theories have been formulated to try to explain natural phenomenon. Theories of particular interest are those that attempt to give an answer to what is the best way to understand the mysteries of the world. Two prominent views are the reductionist theory and the emergent theory. Reductionism claims that there is a basic unit that composes all physical entities in this world, and anything can be understood by reducing it to its ultimate components. In this tradition the whole is defined in ...view middle of the document...

Both the reductionist and emergent views of the mind agree that it originated through evolution from molecular structures. The reductionists then go on to say that the mind can be understood by reducing it to its components and it is merely a simplistic way of defining the actual and potential patterns of behavior. The emergent view on the other hand sees the mind as existing on a higher level of reality and that its properties cannot be reduced to simple physical structures. Even though there are relationships between the physical structures and the mental processes that take place, emergentists argue that by reducing the mental phenomenon to physical phenomenon the mental processes will not be fully understood.While both theories may agree on what composes an entity, such as the brain, the main difference is in whether or not the brain can be reconstructed solely from its constituents. According to reductionists it can, but what this view fails to realize is that something like the mind is more than just a system of neural cells. The emergent theory embraces this ides and accepts that dynamic forces, such as social and cultural practices, influence some things. Incorporating this idea leads to the conclusion of the emergent theory, that while something may be able to be reduced to simple components it will never be able to be reconstructed from those same basic units.

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