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Reductionism 101


We humans are, after all, built out of inhuman parts. The world of atoms looks nothing like the world as we ordinarily think of it, and certainly looks nothing like the world’s conscious denizens as we ordinarily think of them. …

Mere Reality collects seven sequences of essays on this topic. The first three introduce the question of how the human world relates to the world revealed by physics: “Lawful Truth” (on the basic links between physics and human cognition), “Reductionism 101” [this sequence] (on the project of scientifically explaining phenomena), and “Joy in the Merely Real” (on the emotional, personal significance of the scientific world-view).


  1. Dissolving the Question
  2. Wrong Questions
  3. Righting a Wrong Question
  4. Mind Projection Fallacy
  5. Probability is in the Mind
  6. The Quotation is Not the Referent
  7. Qualitatively Confused
  8. Think Like Reality
  9. Chaotic Inversion
  10. Reductionism
  11. Explaining vs. Explaining Away
  12. Fake Reductionism
  13. Savannah Poets