Reduction and Emergence in Science

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CAS_Schw_RGB_2ReductionEm_traAbout the Conference

Reduction and emergence play a central role in the relations of scientific theories and disciplines. For instance, a reducible theory is in some sense replaceable but also supported by its reducing theory. In contrast, a theory that describes emergent phenomena arguably stands alone in both respects. Unfortunately, the discussion about reduction and emergence suffers from two uncertainties at once. On the one hand the concepts of reduction and especially emergence are not precisely defined, on the other hand there are few if any uncontentious cases of reduction or emergence in the sciences. This stalemate can be overcome by a thorough analysis of relations between and within scientific theories. These relations can then serve as a basis for explications of reduction and emergence that are applicable in the sciences.

This conference will bring together philosophers of science and scientists of different disciplines with the aim of addressing the inter- and intratheoretic relations of specific theories and providing precise notions of such relations for the application in the sciences.