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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.
re·duc′tion·is′tic adj.
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Adj.1.reductionist - of or relating to the theory of reductionism; "reductionist arguments"
References in periodicals archive ?
2) The equally ancient moral problems of freedom and responsibility will not be solved by neuroscience practiced in a reductionist way.
The team said in a statement that unusual "experiments of nature have shone a light on the intricacies of blood coagulation pathways that have evaded conventional reductionist science for decades" and they hope to "deliver the ideal anticoagulant treatment for chronic use".
We must forego our simplistic and reductionist narratives on this independence day.
This paper shows that the reductionist view is flawed by exhibiting examples of arguably natural strong axioms of infinity that are demonstrably incomparable.
The first approach, the materialist, is politically engaged but reductionist and simplistic.
In an epilog, Weinberg defends the reductionist approach to science, in the sense that chemistry and biology are ultimately rooted in the workings of the laws of physics (while acknowledging, of course, that historical accidents play a key role in how biological history actually plays out).
Caiazza deftly exposes the unfulfilled promises and unexamined assumptions of each of the three reductionist programs.
In tackling these three aims this proposal adopts a reductionist mindset, employing and developing the latest imaging, subcellular, and molecular technologies.
The complexity of bullying is, however, reductionist in nature.
The idea that a person of faith is one who prays to a man with a long white beard is reductionist and undermines the arguments of a few prolific contemporary atheists.
Psychology's quest to be taken seriously as a science has included a reliance on empirical approaches to studying human behavior, a pervasive focus on the physiological factors of persons, and a reductionist view of personhood.