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Gurevich P.S. Ontological Reductionism

Published in journal "Psychology and Psychotechnics", 2015-2 in rubric "Editor-in-Chief's column", pages 119-121.

Resume: The article presents a critical review of the so called «ontological reductionism». The author believes that this methodological position had undoubtful merits in a certain period of the history of science. A scientific language cannot be developed without support of the dialogue between various spheres of scientific research work, without employment of obvious and simple models. Reductionism could not provide a foundation for the unity of scientific knowledge. But this does not mean that it was futile. It has become the source for cybernetics, computer logic, cognitive science. Nowadays, however, reductionism as a methodology makes new advances and often removes intermediate links, simplifying real processes of life and knowledge. The author uses the methodology of logical positivism to show the genesis of reductionism. He also employs the philosophy of spirit that permits to interpret man as a special kind of being, not at the «naked ape» for there is not reason to «dissolve» physics in biology. The novelty of the article is in giving credit to reductionism, in opening the meanings of reduction of the complex to the simple. Restoring the legality of reductionism, the author also shows that nowadays, when science multiplies scientific discoveries, there is a danger of eliminating the mediated links in analysis of mental and spiritual processes, in particular, of reducing psychological phenomena to the reflex of physiological processes. According to the author, mental processes are not produced by the brain directly but are of autonomous nature.

Keywords: spiritual processes, conceptual thinking, ontological reductionism, scientific knowledge, picture of the world, psychology, physiology, living organisms, man, spiritual malaise

DOI: 10.7256/2070-8955.2015.2.14455

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