Fallacy of a single cause

This first post to this site. So far I find it very informative. My question is,  is the fallacy of a single cause, the same as reductionism, or reductivism? My understanding is that reductionism is to break down a complex system, into smaller segments that are more easily understood. Where as reductivism, would indicate an oversimplification. I welcome your input and any relevant comments also. Thank you.

asked on Sunday, Oct 10, 2021 01:23:56 PM by Dtybur

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Bo Bennett, PhD

There is the fallacy causal reductionism (also known as fallacy of single cause) as well as the oversimplified cause fallacy. Very often, words used in fallacy names also have legitimate uses. For example, the concept of the stereotype is legitimate heuristic but can also be fallacious, as in stereotyping (the fallacy) . Likewise, there are legitimate slippery slopes and the slippery slope fallacy. It is perfectly fine to break down a complex system for understanding, but the fallacy would occur in an argument context when oversimplification is involved.

As for your specific question about naming, I wasn't familiar with the term "reductivism" but it seems it is used to mean an oversimplification, although not an "official" word (if that matters).

answered on Sunday, Oct 10, 2021 01:41:48 PM by Bo Bennett, PhD

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Rationalissimus of the Elenchus

My question is,  is the fallacy of a single cause, the same as reductionism, or reductivism?

The fallacy you name - that of the single cause - is a form of reductionism called causal reductionisma fallacious argument within a debate regarding causation of a given factor.

'Reductionism' (I'm not familiar with the word 'reductivism'!) by itself implies a broader concept, the applications of which may or may not be fallacious. It is probably better described in terms of something else, like a person's mindset (e.g. "he's a pretty reductionist thinker"). To put it simply, a reductionist sees "the whole as the sum of its parts".

answered on Sunday, Oct 10, 2021 05:20:45 PM by Rationalissimus of the Elenchus

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