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a doctrine that maintains that all objects and
events, their properties, and our experience and knowledge of
them are made up of ultimate elements, indivisible parts.
(Ackoff, l974, p. 8)
The practice of reducing concepts, hypotheses or theories that apply to one type of entity to concepts, hypotheses or theories of another, epistemologically more basic kind. E.g., socio-biology seeks to explain social events in biological terms and biophysics seeks to understand biological phenomena with the instrumentarium of physics. More subtle is the use by some political scientist of psychological constructs, such as personality, in the description of nations (see atomism). (Krippendorff)