more from William Lycan

Single Idea 6531

[catalogued under 7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 2. Reduction]

Full Idea

Institutional types are irreducible, though I assume that institutional tokens are reducible in the sense of strict identity, all the way down to the subatomic level.


An 'institution' would be any organisation, such as a brain or plant

Gist of Idea

Institutions are not reducible as types, but they are as tokens


William Lycan (Consciousness [1987], 4.3)

Book Reference

Lycan,William G.: 'Consciousness' [MIT 1995], p.42

A Reaction

This seems a promising distinction, as the boundaries of 'institutions' disappear when you begin to reduce them to lower levels (cf. Idea 4601), and yet plenty of institutions are self-evidently no more than physics. Plants are invisible as physics.

Related Idea

Idea 4601 Higher-level sciences cannot be reduced, because their concepts mark boundaries invisible at lower levels [Heil]