Acta Analytica

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 217–230

Marrying the Merits of Nagelian Reduction and Functional Reduction



This paper points out the merit of Nagelian reduction, namely to propose a model of inter-theoretic reduction that retains the scientific quality of the reduced theory and the merit of functional reduction, namely to take multiple realization into account and to offer reductive explanations. By considering Lewis and Kim’s proposal for local reductions, we establish that functional reduction fails to achieve a theory reduction and cannot retain the scientific quality of the reduced theory. We improve on that proposal by showing how one can build functional sub-types that are coextensive with physical realizer types and thereby obtain a theory reduction that is explanatory and that vindicates the scientific quality of the special sciences.


Bridge principles Functional reduction Multiple realization Nagelian reduction Theory reduction 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Esfeld
    • 1
  • Christian Sachse
    • 1
  • Patrice Soom
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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