First, my apologies for my slow reply. I am currently attending a workshop at the American Institute of Mathematics in California and have been working very hard!
I like the idea of stopping when there is nothing more to take away. It reminds me of the adage about how Michaelangelo went about his sculpting. I note also, however, that this is logically irreducible to an algorithm: if you are only "subtracting", then how do you define the initial condition?
Let me ask you, however, why it is that the philosophy of a branch of science should follow the same rules as the science itself?
Don't worry about what you feel may be vagueness: no-one knows the answers to these deep questions we are discussing, so we all of us can have as much fun as we like in discussing them! Your preparation for doing so may in fact be much better than my own, which has largely grown organically through reading popular science and being fortunate enough to have been able to bend the ear of talented and indulgent philosophers.
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