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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter notes that reduction and reductionism in the sciences and in medicine mean a number of different things, and provides a typology of those different senses, including those of the most relevance to psychiatry. Alternatives to reductionism are discussed, including antireductionism (e.g., irreducibility of the mind to biology) and different forms of emergence. Specific examples of reductionist and emergentist programs tied to a range of psychiatric disorders are presented, including autism, depression, and schizophrenia. These programs are also related to ongoing attempts of psychiatry to secure the validity of disorders by appealing to genetics and neuroscience.

Keywords: reduction, reductionism, emergence, validity, genetics, neuroscience, autism, depression, schizophrenia

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