You are here


Reductionism is a philosophical approach to understanding complexity that asserts that the nature of complex things can be reduced to simpler more fundamental things in order to understand the whole. This philosophy is the basis for analysis.

Reductionism has been the basis for the scientific method and advancement since around 1600AD.

Clearly, systems theory flies in the face of this philosophy as a method to understand complexity and complex systems.

Contrast reductionism with holism and analysis with synthesis.

For the philosophical origin of reductionism see the history of causality.