Featuring Dylan Casey, Bill Burgess, Casey Fitzpatrick, Ernie Prabhakar, and Evan Gould. Recorded 12/20/13.
In this famous, 1972 paper, Anderson argues that the sciences don’t form a reductive whole — that chemistry isn’t applied physics and psychology isn’t applied biology — taking early aim at the conceits of the uber-reductionist elementary particle physicists. Part of his argument is an articulation of how the principles of symmetry-breaking make this non-reductionism clear in the physical world. We discuss all these matters trying to sort out Anderson’s claims and what we think of the evidence for them.