The well-known critical analyses of the classical Nagelian model of reduction point at some problems related to the explanatory power of bridge laws. The functional model of reduction, proposed by Kim as an alternative, denies the necessity of bridge laws, and -using the functional model of explanation - tries to avoid them. This paper analyses the characteristics of both Nagelian and functional reduction, and shows that the implicit thesis of functional reduction stating that bridge laws are avoidable, is in fact untenable. By recognizing the inevitability of bridge laws, a new model of reduction can be formulated. The new model of reduction provides an appropriate framework to treat emergent phenomena - which were traditionally incompatible with reductive physicalism - together with the classical examples of reduction. This paper introduces the notion of emergent reduction, a new interpretation of emergent phenomena, which lifts emergence out of the standard examples of contemporary non-reductive physicalism. The corner-stone of the new interpretation of emergent phenomena is the recognition of the similarity between emergent laws and fundamental laws. The investigation of this similarity draws attention to the importance of scientific frame-theories.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.