Study Questions for Lecture 15 (Unity and Micro-Reduction)
Instructions: Please answer all of the following questions while, or after, you watch the lecture (or read through the notes).
1. What is the main goal for those hoping to account for the unity of science (UoS)? What are two strategies for achieving this goal? Explain them.
2. For each strategy, describe one of the obstacles it must overcome. In light of these obstacles, do you think either approach to UoS is promising? Explain.
3. Which of the above two strategies does Oppenheim and Putnam employ? In giving your answer, briefly describe how they use their own vision of “the layered worldview” to account for UoS (hint: it has something to do with the “downwards inclusion principle.”)
4. Comparing Oppenheim and Putnam’s account of the layered worldview with other possible ways of describing “levels of reality,” (e.g., the ecological hierarchy) do you think that the hierarchy described by Oppenheim and Putnam is the best way to describe the levels of reality, for the purposes of UoS? Explain.
5. List the constraints that Oppenheim and Putnam think any acceptable system of levels must meet. Are these constraints justified? Explain.
6. Explain, in your own words, the following three problems for Oppenheim and Putnam’s view: the AI problem, the man-in-the-phonebooth problem, and the free-molecule problem. Do you think that these problems refute the micro-reductionist view of UoS? Argue for your answer.
Can you answer the questions based on the lecture in the uploads , with giving a good explanation.