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Reductionism to explain life?

RyryMase
Posts: 43
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3/30/2015 11:23:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'm a psychology major with a minor in Business Administration in my last semester.

Recently we studied reductionism. Which is the "reduction" of things to its simplest form. Like figuring out how a watch works by taking it apart. This has been applied controversially to human. For example, love was thought to be too big for science to explain. But love was reduced, in the lab, to oxytocin. They found that when administered oxytocin, complete strangers felt a bond while talking amoungst themselves. Forgive me for not citing my source, I don't remember what study it was, just remember the lecture.

If love can be reduced why not life itself? We are made up of many cells and bacteria. Are we just a vessel for other living creatures?

What do yal think?
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
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3/31/2015 3:07:54 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/30/2015 11:23:09 PM, RyryMase wrote:
I'm a psychology major with a minor in Business Administration in my last semester.

Recently we studied reductionism. Which is the "reduction" of things to its simplest form. Like figuring out how a watch works by taking it apart. This has been applied controversially to human. For example, love was thought to be too big for science to explain. But love was reduced, in the lab, to oxytocin. They found that when administered oxytocin, complete strangers felt a bond while talking amoungst themselves. Forgive me for not citing my source, I don't remember what study it was, just remember the lecture.

If love can be reduced why not life itself? We are made up of many cells and bacteria. Are we just a vessel for other living creatures?

What do yal think?

- Reductionism is a very limited method for lazy thinkers, & it can only work if you actually have a global & very detailed view on the subject (such as in maths & some areas of physics) which entails having some sort of universal foundations all across first.

- I've seen this done to religious concepts before, which is mediocre. It's a way to avoid sophisticated discussions & complex implications.
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RyryMase
Posts: 43
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3/31/2015 3:35:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Mechanism/Reductionism isn't a lazy way to describe phenomenon. William Harvey used it to figure out and describe the heart as a mechanical pump in the body. Descartes believed that the body could be explained by mechanical laws. He broke it down to reflex-action theory which was the first, eerily correct, attempt at explaining how our body works with our brain.
RyryMase
Posts: 43
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3/31/2015 3:42:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Cognitivism is the leading field of psychology. They are explaining thought and behaviors through electrical impulses between neurons. They are breaking down our cognition into smaller simpler parts.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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3/31/2015 4:34:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/30/2015 11:23:09 PM, RyryMase wrote:
I'm a psychology major with a minor in Business Administration in my last semester.

Recently we studied reductionism. Which is the "reduction" of things to its simplest form. Like figuring out how a watch works by taking it apart. This has been applied controversially to human. For example, love was thought to be too big for science to explain. But love was reduced, in the lab, to oxytocin. They found that when administered oxytocin, complete strangers felt a bond while talking amoungst themselves. Forgive me for not citing my source, I don't remember what study it was, just remember the lecture.

If love can be reduced why not life itself? We are made up of many cells and bacteria. Are we just a vessel for other living creatures?

What do yal think?

If true intelligence involves the ability to view and understanding widely different things from multiple different perspectives, an aptitude for grasping a wide range of truths, relationships, and meanings, and the capacity for abstract and symbolic thought, then it follows logically that the contention that one can reduce reality to only one of its modes, to know it in only one of its forms, is an unintelligent claim.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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3/31/2015 4:53:33 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
You can reduce a radio down to its constituent components, you can take it apart and lay each component out on the floor and then provide a mechanistic explanation of how each one operates, and then you can claim that you understand it, but what you will not do, is hear music.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
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3/31/2015 5:05:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/31/2015 3:35:13 AM, RyryMase wrote:
Mechanism/Reductionism isn't a lazy way to describe phenomenon. William Harvey used it to figure out and describe the heart as a mechanical pump in the body. Descartes believed that the body could be explained by mechanical laws. He broke it down to reflex-action theory which was the first, eerily correct, attempt at explaining how our body works with our brain.

- Without getting into who did really what, getting to the point of doing a Reductionist approach necessitate having extensive information about ALL the parts of the mechanism, without which the process is both impossible & fruitless. The condition of Reductionism is Sufficiency, without sufficiency it becomes a logical fallacy.

- Take for instance Fundamental Physics, a reductionist approach would be to eliminate all the constructs & start building up the theory based on the properties of the most elementary entities of the system, such as electrons & quarks. An approach that might sound justifiable to some degree, because we seemingly know enough about these elementary entities to, initially, achieve a 'sufficient' explanation. However, since the construct is not really mechanical, this approach will unfortunately fail, the system is thus not equal to the sum of its part, which bring us to holism.

- You can see this approach applied to the current theory of Evolution, & that's one of the reasons I am not impressed by it.
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RyryMase
Posts: 43
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3/31/2015 5:09:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'm making an absurd claim. I get that. But you can't deny that what was once held as sacred and said to be too complex to be reduced, love, has in fact been reduced to a simpler form. Behaviorism and conditioning has been thrown out of psychology for Cognitivism. Which is explaining our thoughts as messages between neurons.

I'm cool with you saying my claim is unintelligent, it is. But there's psychology research you can't ignore.
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
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3/31/2015 5:09:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/31/2015 3:38:54 AM, RyryMase wrote:
How has it been used on religion?

- Psychology of Religion: Religion being a human reaction to some social condition, blah blah blah.

=> This kind of Reductionism is flat out stupid & the epitome of laziness in thought.
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RyryMase
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3/31/2015 5:18:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I get what yal are saying now. If breaking something down to its smallest components, the radio, doesn't explain the nature of its being, the music, the what are your religious or philisophical beliefs?
RyryMase
Posts: 43
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3/31/2015 5:21:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/31/2015 5:09:56 AM, Yassine wrote:
At 3/31/2015 3:38:54 AM, RyryMase wrote:
How has it been used on religion?

- Psychology of Religion: Religion being a human reaction to some social condition, blah blah blah.

=> This kind of Reductionism is flat out stupid & the epitome of laziness in thought.

I agree with that being lazy. I don't believe in anything, which can be reduced down to alcoholism and depression....jokes
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
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3/31/2015 5:41:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/31/2015 5:09:21 AM, RyryMase wrote:
I'm making an absurd claim. I get that.

- I don't see you making any claims, are you? We are just discussing here :)

But you can't deny that what was once held as sacred and said to be too complex to be reduced, love, has in fact been reduced to a simpler form.

- Reductionism can't access Love, for the simple fact that it's an abstract concept, & a very flexible one at that.
- Associating Love to some drug doesn't explain it, it just says exactly what it says: 'the drug does specifically what it empirically appears to do'. That's it. Jumping from that to Love is fallacious at best.

Cognitivism is the leading field of psychology.

- Not quite, there are many many others right beside it.

They are explaining thought and behaviors through electrical impulses between neurons. They are breaking down our cognition into smaller simpler parts.

- They're trying, which is a good thing. But they are far far from applying in reductionist approach, unless they wanna do it for extremely specific things.
- You know how much time it got us to learn about the human body, to finally understand it as a functioning complex machine? Well, let me tell you: millenniums.
- How much time do you think we need to understand the human brain to such degree? Well, a least few centuries. So, relax, we're not there yet.
- & about neurologists, the thing I hear most often is this: "we have no idea how it works, but it works". They can't possibly be thinking about taking the human brain apart into pieces to & make claims about it, they don't even know the pieces!!!

Behaviorism and conditioning has been thrown out of psychology for Cognitivism. Which is explaining our thoughts as messages between neurons.

- None of the above approaches is universal, not even close. Look, you have a problem, you wanna find a solution, you figure out a way to do it >> that's the methodology.
- Methodologies (or approaches or currents. . .) are just ways of dealing with the facts, a priori facts or a posteriori facts. & none of those has monopoly, & they are all restricted to their own limitations.
- Reductionism is a good idea if you have a system that can -factually- be broken down to pieces & reassembled again, without having made any changes. For instance, if you have two theories, or let's say two hypotheses about a certain phenomenon, one is micro & the other is macro. Well, in this case a reductionist approach would be a good idea by which to check the former (if you know enough), while a holist approach would be pertinent for the latter.
Eg. Thermodynamics vs. Statistical Physics.

I'm cool with you saying my claim is unintelligent, it is.

- You're arguing for a position as far as I am concerned, I don't see any claims.

But there's psychology research you can't ignore.

- Psychology is a soft science, it's not a serious science like physics, or an exact science like maths.
- Nobody is ignoring anything, the research has its own value as it is, but, it loses its value when it overreaches. Jumping from some form of behaviour associated with a drug to Love is an absurd jump. The value of the research is restricted to the actual observed behaviour, & that's it.
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RyryMase
Posts: 43
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3/31/2015 5:59:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/31/2015 5:41:56 AM, Yassine wrote:
At 3/31/2015 5:09:21 AM, RyryMase wrote:

But you can't deny that what was once held as sacred and said to be too complex to be reduced, love, has in fact been reduced to a simpler form.

- Reductionism can't access Love, for the simple fact that it's an abstract concept, & a very flexible one at that.

Love at first sight vs love in a marriage vs love of your child - it is abstract and there are different types of love - I understand why you would oppose just labeling it oxytocin for all.

- How much time do you think we need to understand the human brain to such degree? Well, a least few centuries. So, relax, we're not there yet.

Yeah it's going to take a lot of time. If they ever do figure out the brain it will be like every other discovery, keep moving on to the next mystery

- & about neurologists, the thing I hear most often is this: "we have no idea how it works, but it works". They can't possibly be thinking about taking the human brain apart into pieces to & make claims about it, they don't even know the pieces!!!

Little is known. Just a fun fact, recently neurons were discovered in the stomache that fire on their own... The hell is that

- None of the above approaches is universal, not even close. Look, you have a problem, you wanna find a solution, you figure out a way to do it >> that's the methodology.

They're not universal, they're making attempt at being universal

- Psychology is a soft science, it's not a serious science like physics, or an exact science like maths.

It's not a serious science, hence still a liberal art, because it is still trying to explain itself.
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
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3/31/2015 6:10:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/31/2015 5:59:55 AM, RyryMase wrote:
Love at first sight vs love in a marriage vs love of your child - it is abstract and there are different types of love - I understand why you would oppose just labeling it oxytocin for all.

- I meant more the philosophical & spiritual concept it forms.

Yeah it's going to take a lot of time. If they ever do figure out the brain it will be like every other discovery, keep moving on to the next mystery

- Not quite, knowledge cumulates, & understating grows, & thus new questions are asked, about the same topic, but in different tones.

They're not universal, they're making attempt at being universal

- They can never be, by design.

It's not a serious science, hence still a liberal art, because it is still trying to explain itself.

- Liberal Arts have to do with areas of knowledge that involve Thought as opposed to practice. So, even Maths & Physics may fall under Liberal Studies, though are often omitted.
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