Meaning of reductionism

re•duc•tion•ism

Pronunciation: (ri-duk'shu-niz"um), [key]
— n.
  1. the theory that every complex phenomenon, esp. in biology or psychology, can be explained by analyzing the simplest, most basic physical mechanisms that are in operation during the phenomenon.
  2. the practice of simplifying a complex idea, issue, condition, or the like, esp. to the point of minimizing, obscuring, or distorting it.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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