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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.reductionist - of or relating to the theory of reductionism; "reductionist arguments"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
A knee-jerk, reductionist and vested-interest-laden solution with Dengvaxia does not serve the Filipino people.
This book considers how mathematics can address issues in social and behavioral sciences in areas like voting, nonparametric statistics, and supply and demand, including using evolutionary game theory to model change, the analysis of voting methods and voting theory, approaches to game theory, and the reductionist approach to complex problems.
With laser precision through lyrical ponderings Professor Howard takes us through the dismal reductionist view of the world to the shimmering significance of this world as sign and sacrament.
Its super-slim Matrix Laser-LED headlights, flush deployable door handles and sleek Touch Pro Duo infotainment are all hallmarks of Range Rover's reductionist design philosophy.
It has a well-proportioned exterior with a smooth silhouette and Matrix Laser-Led headlights that highlight what the company claims is a 'reductionist design philosophy.'
(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".
In this paper, I'll address one of the main philosophical issues concerning the metaphysics of objective probability, the debate between reductionist and non-reductionist accounts of chance.
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.
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).