The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction, and Emergence [NOOK Book]

Overview

Robert Batterman examines a form of scientific reasoning called asymptomatic reasoning, arguing that it has important consequences for our understanding of the scientific process as a whole. He maintains that asymptomatic reasoning is essential for explaining what physicists call universal behavior. With clarity and rigor, he simplifies complex questions about universal behavior, demonstrating a profound understanding of the underlying structures that ground them. This book introduces a valuable new method that ...
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The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction, and Emergence

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Overview

Robert Batterman examines a form of scientific reasoning called asymptomatic reasoning, arguing that it has important consequences for our understanding of the scientific process as a whole. He maintains that asymptomatic reasoning is essential for explaining what physicists call universal behavior. With clarity and rigor, he simplifies complex questions about universal behavior, demonstrating a profound understanding of the underlying structures that ground them. This book introduces a valuable new method that is certain to fill explanatory gaps across disciplines.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 3
2 Asymptotic Reasoning 9
2.1 The Euler Strut 9
2.2 Universality 13
2.3 Intertheoretic Relations 17
2.4 Emergence 19
3 Philosophical Theories of Explanation 23
3.1 Different Why-Questions 23
3.2 Hempelian Explanation and Its Successors 25
4 Asymptotic Explanation 37
4.1 The Renormalization Group (RG) 37
4.2 The General Strategy 42
4.3 "Intermediate Asymptotics" 44
4.4 Conclusion: The Role of Stability 57
5 Philosophical Models of Reduction 61
5.1 Nagelian Reduction 62
5.2 Multiple Realizability 65
5.3 Kim's "Functional Model of Reduction" 68
5.4 A Metaphysical Mystery 71
5.5 Multiple Realizability as Universality 73
6 Intertheoretic Relations - Optics 77
6.1 "Reduction[subscript 2]" 78
6.2 Singular Limits 80
6.3 Wave and Ray Theories 81
6.4 Universality: Diffraction Catastrophe Scaling Laws 93
7 Intertheoretic Relations - Mechanics 99
7.1 Classical and Quantum Theories 100
7.2 The WKB Method 104
7.3 Semiclassical "Emergents" 109
8 Emergence 113
8.1 Emergence and the Philosophy of Mind 114
8.2 The Rainbow Revisited: An Example of Emergence? 115
8.3 A New Sense of Emergence 121
8.4 Tenet 5: Novel Causal Powers? 126
9 Conclusions 131
Bibliography 137
Index 141
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