Reductionism is the concept that the universe is composed of discrete and autonomous events that can be separated from one another and investigated individually.
Western Science is distinguished by reductionism, a quantitative approach and the assumption that there is a real world that is independent of human conception, speculation or fantasy.
Metaphysical realism entails that there are objects, events and phenomena whose existence does not depend on any form of sentinence or awareness. It is ‘dualistic’ in the sense that mind and matter are viewed as two different kinds of stuff.
For ‘philosophical idealists’ nothing is mind-independent.
Epistemological realism is an investigative branch of realism.
(e·pis·te·mol·o·gy ( -p s t -m l -j ). n. The branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity.)
Modern Science presupposes a realism constituted by metaphysical and epistemological realism.
The idea is that there is an inner mental world and an external publicly observable world.
Monism is the idea that there is only one kind of stuff, either mental or material but not both.
The idealist monists hold that all stuff is mental and the materialist monists hold that all stuff is material. (Thoughts are just brain activity).
Most scientists are materialists.
Skeptics hold that all the information we have about the “external reality” comes to us through our senses and that senses are notoriously unreliable. Everyday observation misrepresents the nature of reality.
- Reference : Did my genes make me do it by Avrum Stroll. Chapter 1 : Is Science the Answer? (Pages 1-28)