Dennett Reductionism refers to reducing a phenomena to its ‘bottom’ (as in ‘bottom-up’ design) explanation. It is the tendency of a social science to seek biological explanations, the biologist to seek chemical explanations, and the chemist to seek a physics explanation. Daniel Dennett would call it ‘using a crane’ to provide an account for existence.
This reductionist philosophy stands in stark contrast to those who reduce phenomena to a top-down explanation of its existence. Dennett refers to this problematic approach as a ‘skyhook‘.
“We must distinguish reductionism, which is in general a good thing, from greedy reductionism, which is not. The difference, in the context of Darwin’s theory, is simple: greedy reductionists think that everything can be explained without cranes; good reductionists think that everything can be explained without skyhooks.” (82, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea)
Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett