Definition of reductionism
1 : explanation of complex life-science processes and phenomena in terms of the laws of physics and chemistry; also : a theory or doctrine that complete reductionism is possible
2 : a procedure or theory that reduces complex data and phenomena to simple terms
reductionistplay \-sh(ə-)nist\ noun or adjective
reductionisticplay \-ˌdək-shə-ˈnis-tik\ adjective
Recent Examples of reductionism from the Web
Scores of scientists and philosophers would (and do) dispute this sort of hyper-materialistic reductionism.
That danger of reductionism is certainly worth bearing in mind when considering how the two recent votes in Europe turned out.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reductionism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of reductionism
Medical Definition of reductionism
1: the attempt to explain all biological processes by the same explanations (as by physical laws) that chemists and physicists use to interpret inanimate matter; also : the theory that complete reductionism is possible
2: a procedure or theory that reduces complex data or phenomena to simple terms
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