But we want to understand, not just condemn or ignore. There are several types of reduction, most of which usually result in some harm or other:
This type of reduction claims that one aspect has no independent status from another, in that its laws are merely outworkings of the other. For instance, laws of the life sciences can be reduced to merely those of physics and chemistry, and those of physics can be reduced to those of mathematics.
Such reductionisms do not deny the usefulness of speaking in terms of laws of the later aspect, but see that doing this is merely a convenience. Rather like using an abbreviation for long word, ontological reduction allows us to use concepts and themes from the later aspect as short-hand for the complex workings of the earlier, but it has no real foundation.
A common example is that the laws of society came about merely and purely because of a biological evolutionary process - with the frequent implication that any laws or norms that are post-biological are artificial and to be discarded, and that sex and gluttony reign supreme!
This one is particularly dangerous, and subject to fashions. It leads to gross evil even if the participants are upright, honest, well-meaning people. Often, those with power of eloquence will, in order to get their way, bullying the minds of others towards just one aspect, blinding them to other aspects by which they might argue against the bully.
Idolatrous reduction(ism) occurs when we apply an almost religious devotion to our target aspect.
This page, "dooy.info/reduction.html", is part of The Dooyeweerd Pages, which explain, explore and discuss Dooyeweerd's interesting philosophy. Questions or comments are very welcome.
Compiled by Andrew Basden. You may use this material subject to conditions.
Written on the Amiga with Protext, in the style of classic HTML.
Created: 18 May 2013 Last updated: 15 January 2020 danger of bullying. New .end,.nav.