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reductionism ‎(countable and uncountable, plural reductionisms)

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  1. An approach to studying complex systems or ideas by reducing them to a set of simpler components.
  2. (philosophy) A philosophical position which holds that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts, and that an account of it can be reduced to accounts of individual constituents. In a reductionist framework, the phenomena that can be explained completely in terms of relations between other more fundamental phenomena, are called "epiphenomena".

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