Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
An attempt or tendency to explain a complex set of facts, entities, phenomena, or structures by another, simpler set: "Science requires some degree of reductionism, some picking apart and focusing on one or two variables at a time" (Natalie Angier).
re·duc′tion·ist adj. & n.
1. the analysis of complex things, data, etc, into less complex constituents
2. often derogatory any theory or method that holds that a complex idea, system, etc, can be completely understood in terms of its simpler parts or components
reˈductionist n, adj
re•duc•tion•ism(rɪˈdʌk ʃəˌnɪz əm)
1. the theory that every complex phenomenon, esp. in biology or psychology, can be explained by analyzing the simplest, most basic physical mechanisms that are in operation during the phenomenon.
2. the practice of oversimplifying a complex idea or issue to the point of minimizing or distorting it.
re•duc′tion•ist, n., adj.
The attempt to explain complex phenomena in terms of simple laws or principles.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||reductionism - a theory that all complex systems can be completely understood in terms of their components|
theory - a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; "true in fact and theory"
|2.||reductionism - the analysis of complex things into simpler constituents|