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Emergence

Edited by Patrick McGivern (University of Wollongong)
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  1. Evandro Agazzi, Luisa Montecucco & M. Buzzoni (2005). Complexity and Emergence. Epistemologia 28 (2).
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  2. Samuel Alexander (1920/1966). Space, Time, and Deity: The Gifford Lectures at Glasgow 1916-1918. Dover Publications.
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  3. Peter M. Allen & Mark Strathern (2003). Evolution, Emergence, and Learning in Complex Systems. Emergence 5 (4):8-33.
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  4. Harald Atmanspacher (2007). Contextual Emergence From Physics to Cognitive Neuroscience. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (1-2):18-36.
    The concept of contextual emergence has been proposed as a non-reductive, yet well- defined relation between different levels of description of physical and other systems. It is illustrated for the transition from statistical mechanics to thermodynamical properties such as temperature. Stability conditions are shown to be crucial for a rigorous implementation of contingent contexts that are required to understand temperature as an emergent property. Are such stability conditions meaningful for contextual emergence beyond physics as well? An affirmative example from cognitive (...)
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  5. Ansgar Beckermann (1992). Supervenience, Emergence, and Reduction. In Ansgar Beckermann, Hans Flohr & Jaegwon Kim (eds.), Emergence or Reduction?: Prospects for Nonreductive Physicalism. De Gruyter. 94--118.
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  6. Ansgar Beckermann, Hans Flohr & Jaegwon Kim (1992). Emergence or Reduction?: Prospects for Nonreductive Physicalism. De Gruyter.
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  7. Mark A. Bedau (2008). Is Weak Emergence Just in the Mind? Minds and Machines 18 (4):443-459.
    Weak emergence is the view that a system’s macro properties can be explained by its micro properties but only in an especially complicated way. This paper explains a version of weak emergence based on the notion of explanatory incompressibility and “crawling the causal web.” Then it examines three reasons why weak emergence might be thought to be just in the mind. The first reason is based on contrasting mere epistemological emergence with a form of ontological emergence that involves irreducible downward (...)
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  8. Mark A. Bedau (2002). Downward Causation and the Autonomy of Weak Emergence. Principia 6 (1):5-50.
    Weak emergence has been offered as an explication of the ubiquitous notion of emergence used in complexity science (Bedau 1997). After outlining the problem of emergence and comparing weak emergence with the two other main objectivist approaches to emergence, this paper explains a version of weak emergence and illustrates it with cellular automata. Then it explains the sort of downward causation and explanatory autonomy involved in weak emergence.
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  9. Carlton W. Berenda (1953). On Emergence and Prediction. Journal of Philosophy 50 (April):269-74.
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  10. Gustav Bergmann (1944). Holism, Historicism, and Emergence. Philosophy of Science 11 (March):209-21.
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  11. Reinaldo Bernal Velásquez (2012). E-Physicalism. A Physicalist Theory of Phenomenal Consciousness. Ontos Verlag.
    This work advances a theory in the metaphysics of phenomenal consciousness, which the author labels “e-physicalism”. Firstly, he endorses a realist stance towards consciousness and physicalist metaphysics. Secondly, he criticises Strong AI and functionalist views, and claims that consciousness has an internal character. Thirdly, he discusses HOT theories, the unity of consciousness, and holds that the “explanatory gap” is not ontological but epistemological. Fourthly, he argues that consciousness is not a supervenient but an emergent property, not reducible and endowed with (...)
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  12. Mark H. Bickhard (2004). Process and Emergence: Normative Function and Representation. Axiomathes - An International Journal in Ontology and Cognitive Systems 14:135-169.
    Emergence seems necessary for any naturalistic account of the world — none of our familiar world existed at the time of the Big Bang, and it does now — and normative emergence is necessary for any naturalistic account of biology and mind — mental phenomena, such as representation, learning, rationality, and so on, are normative. But Jaegwon Kim’s argument appears to render causally efficacious emergence impossible, and Hume’s argument appears to render normative emergence impossible, and, in its general form, it (...)
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  13. Mark H. Bickhard (2000). Emergence. In P.B. Andersen, Claus Emmeche, N.O. Finnemann & P.V. Christiansen (eds.), Downward Causation. University of Aarhus Press. 322-348.
    * This paper was to have been written jointly with Don Campbell. His tragic death on May 6, 1996, occurred before we had been able to do much planning for the paper. As a result, this is undoubtedly a very different paper than if Don and I had written it together, and, undoubtedly, not as good a paper. Nevertheless, I believe it maintains at least the spirit of what we had discussed. Clearly, all errors are mine alone.
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  14. Alexander Bird (2008). Causal Exclusion and Evolved Emergent Properties. In Ruth Groff (ed.), Revitalizing Causality: Realism About Causality in Philosophy and Social Science. Routledge. 163--78.
    Emergent properties are intended to be genuine, natural higher level causally efficacious properties irreducible to physical ones. At the same time they are somehow dependent on or 'emergent from' complexes of physical properties, so that the doctrine of emergent properties is not supposed to be returned to dualism. The doctrine faces two challenges: (i) to explain precisely how it is that such properties emerge - what is emergence; (ii) to explain how they sidestep the exclusion problem - how it is (...)
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  15. Michel Bitbol (2007). Ontology, Matter and Emergence. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (3):293-307.
    “Ontological emergence” of inherent high-level properties with causal powers is witnessed nowhere. A non-substantialist conception of emergence works much better. It allows downward causation, provided our concept of causality is transformed accordingly.
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  16. James Blachowicz (2013). The Constraint Interpretation of Physical Emergence. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 44 (1):21-40.
    I develop a variant of the constraint interpretation of the emergence of purely physical (non-biological) entities, focusing on the principle of the non-derivability of actual physical states from possible physical states (physical laws) alone. While this is a necessary condition for any account of emergence, it is not sufficient, for it becomes trivial if not extended to types of constraint that specifically constitute physical entities, namely, those that individuate and differentiate them. Because physical organizations with these features are in fact (...)
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  17. Mario Bunge (1977). Emergence and the Mind. Neuroscience 2:501-9.
  18. J. Butterfield (2011). Less is Different: Emergence and Reduction Reconciled. [REVIEW] Foundations of Physics 41 (6):1065-1135.
    This is a companion to another paper. Together they rebut two widespread philosophical doctrines about emergence. The first, and main, doctrine is that emergence is incompatible with reduction. The second is that emergence is supervenience; or more exactly, supervenience without reduction.In the other paper, I develop these rebuttals in general terms, emphasising the second rebuttal. Here I discuss the situation in physics, emphasising the first rebuttal. I focus on limiting relations between theories and illustrate my claims with four examples, each (...)
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  19. John Ross Churchill (2010). Nonreductive Physicalism or Emergent Dualism : The Argument From Mental Causation. In Robert C. Koons & George Bealer (eds.), The Waning of Materialism. Oxford University Press.
    Throughout the 1990s, Jaegwon Kim developed a line of argument that what purport to be nonreductive forms of physicalism are ultimately untenable, since they cannot accommodate the causal efficacy of mental states. His argument has received a great deal of discussion, much of it critical. We believe that, while the argument needs some tweaking, its basic thrust is sound. In what follows, we will lay out our preferred version of the argument and highlight its essential dependence on a causal-powers metaphysic, (...)
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  20. P. Clayton (ed.) (2006). Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science. Oxford University Press.
    In addition to treatments of questions of methodology and implications for life and practice, the Handbook includes sections devoted to the major scientific ...
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  21. Philip Clayton (2006). Emergence From Physics to Theology: Toward a Panoramic View. Zygon 41 (3):675-687.
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  22. Philip Clayton (2004). Mind and Emergence: From Quantum to Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    Strong claims have been made for emergence as a new paradigm for understanding science, consciousness, and religion. Tracing the past history and current definitions of the concept, Clayton assesses the case for emergent phenomena in the natural world and their significance for philosophy and theology. Complex emergent phenomena require irreducible levels of explanation in physics, chemistry and biology. This pattern of emergence suggests a new approach to the problem of consciousness, which is neither reducible to brain states nor proof of (...)
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  23. Philip Clayton (2002). Emergence — A Response to My Critics. Tradition and Discovery 29 (3):48-51.
    The author responds to criticisms from the four respondents to his “Emergence, Supervenience, and Personal Knowledge,” acknowledging areas where their points have improved the interpretation of science and the interpretation of Polanyi. The discussion focuses on the extent of the “causal decoupling” between parts and emergent wholes, with special attention to the question of whether (and if so, to what degree) brain activity causes thought.
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  24. Philip Clayton (2002). Emergence, Supervenience, and Personal Knowledge. Tradition and Discovery 29 (3):8-19.
    Michael Polanyi was perhaps the most important emergence theorist of the middle of the 20th century. As the key link between the British Emergentists of the 1920s and the explosion of emergence theory in the 1990s, he played a crucial role in resisting reductionist interpretations of science and keeping the concept of emergence alive. Polanyi’s position on emergence is described and its major strengths and weaknesses are analyzed. Using Polanyi as the foundation, the article surveys the major contemporary options in (...)
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  25. Philip Clayton (1999). Neuroscience and the Person: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action. Notre Dame: University Notre Dame Press.
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  26. Philip Clayton (1999). Neuroscience, the Person, and God: An Emergentist Account. In Neuroscience and the Person: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action. Notre Dame: University Notre Dame Press. 613-652.
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  27. John Collier (2008). A Dynamical Account of Emergence. Cybernetics and Human Knowing 15 (3-4):75-86.
    Emergence has traditionally been described as satisfying specific properties, notably nonreducibility of the emergent object or properties to their substrate, novelty, and unpredictability from the properties of the substrate. Sometimes more mysterious properties such as independence from the substrate, separate substances and teleological properties are invoked. I will argue that the latter are both unnecessary and unwarranted. The descriptive properties can be analyzed in more detail in logical terms, but the logical conditions alone do not tell us how to identify (...)
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  28. John D. Collier (2011). Holism and Emergence: Dynamical Complexity Defeats Laplace's Demon. South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (2).
    The paradigm of Laplacean determinism combines three regulative principles: determinism, predictability, and the explanatory adequacy of universal laws together with purely local conditions. Historically, it applied to celestial mechanics, but it has been expanded into an ideal for scientific theories whose cogency is often not questioned. Laplace’s demon is an idealization of mechanistic scientific method. Its principles together imply reducibility, and rule out holism and emergence. I will argue that Laplacean determinism fails even in the realm of planetary dynamics, and (...)
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  29. John D. Collier & Scott J. Muller (1998). The Dynamical Basis of Emergence in Natural Hierarchies. In G. L. Farre & T. Oksala (eds.), Emergence, Complexity, Hierarchy, Organization, Selected and Edited Papers From the Echo Iii Conference. Acta Polytechnica Scandinavica.
    Since the origins of the notion of emergence in attempts to recover the content of vitalistic anti-reductionism without its questionable metaphysics, emergence has been treated in terms of logical properties. This approach was doomed to failure, because logical properties are either sui generis or they are constructions from other logical properties. If the former, they do not explain on their own and are inevitably somewhat arbitrary (the problem with the related concept of supervenience, Collier, 1988a), but if the latter, reducibility (...)
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  30. Terrence Deacon (2006). Emergence: The Hole at the Wheel's Hub. In Philip Clayton & Paul Sheldon Davies (eds.), The Re-Emergence of Emergence. Oxford University Press. 111--50.
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  31. Charbel Nino El-Hani (2002). On the Reality of Emergents. Principia 6 (1):51-87.
    The controversy over the notion of emergence has recently re-emerged But a rigorous debate concerning how it might be explained or defined is often lacking Emergence is discussed here under two strict conditions (l) emergents can be predictable from the knowledge about a system's parts, (ll) emergents can be regarded as dependent on, and deternuned by, the system's micro-structure O'Connor's definmon of an emergent property is taken as a starting-point for a new definmon, incorporating Emmeche and colleagues' analysis of dounward (...)
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  32. George F. R. Ellis (2006). On the Nature of Emergent Reality. In Philip Clayton & Paul Sheldon Davies (eds.), The Re-Emergence of Emergence. Oxford University Press.
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  33. Claus Emmeche (1999). The Biosemiotics of Emergent Properties in a Pluralist Ontology. In Edwina Taborsky (ed.), Semiosis. Evolution. Energy: Towards a Reconceptualization of the Sign. Shaker Verlag.
    Published in: Edwina Taborsky, ed. (1999): Semiosis. Evolution. Energy: Towards a Reconceptualization of the Sign. Shaker Verlag, Aachen. (pp. 89-108). The book is based on the meeting "Semiosis. Evolution. Energy, Third International Conference on Semiotics", Victoria Collage, University of Toronto, Canada, October 17-19, 1997 (programme and list of papers, see the SEE web page:http://www.library.utoronto.ca/see).
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  34. Claus Emmeche, Defining Life, Explaining Emergence.
    Bibliographical Note Abstract Explaining things - introductory remarks General attitudes and the standard view Requirements for a definition Life as the natural selection of replicators Life as an autopoietic system Life as a semiotic phenomenon Downward causation Implicitly well-defined general objects Emergence as explanatory strategy: the observer reappears Concluding remarks Acknowledgements Notes References Bibliographical note: Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the Princeton History of Science Workshop on "Growing Explanations", Princeton University, February 15, 1997; and at the meeting (...)
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  35. Claus Emmeche, Simo Koppe & Frederick Stjernfelt (2000). Levels, Emergence, and Three Versions of Downward Causation. In P.B. Andersen, Claus Emmeche, N.O. Finnemann & P.V. Christiansen (eds.), Downward Causation. Aarhus, Denmark: University of Aarhus Press. 322-348.
    The idea of a higher level phenomenon having a downward causal influence on a lower level process or entity has taken a variety of forms. In order to discuss the relation between emergence and downward causation, the specific variety of the thesis of downward causation (DC) must be identified. Based on some ontological theses about inter-level relations, types of causation and the possibility of reduction, three versions of DC are distinguished. Of these, the `Strong' form of DC is held to (...)
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  36. Claus Emmeche, Simo Koppe & Frederick Stjernfelt (1997). Explaining Emergence: Toward an Ontology of Levels. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 28 (1):83-119.
    University of Copenhagen University of Copenhagen University of Copenhagen Blegdamsvej 17 Njalsgade 80 Njalsgade 80 DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø DK 2300 Copenhagen S DK-2300 Copenhagen S Denmark.
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  37. Christina E. Erneling & D. Johnson (eds.) (2005). Mind As a Scientific Object. Oxford University Press.
  38. G. L. Farre & T. Oksala (eds.) (1998). Emergence, Complexity, Hierarchy, Organization, Selected and Edited Papers From the ECHO III Conference. Acta Polytechnica Scandinavica.
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  39. Herbert Feigl & Michael Scriven (eds.) (1956). Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. , Vol.
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  40. J. Ganeri (2011). Emergentisms, Ancient and Modern. Mind 120 (479):671-703.
    Jaegwon Kim has argued (Kim 2006a) that the two key issues for emergentism are to give a positive characterization of the emergence relation and to explain the possibility of downward causation. This paper proposes an account of emergence which provides new answers to these two key issues. It is argued that an appropriate emergence relation is characterized by a notion of ‘transformation’, and that the real key issue for emergentism is located elsewhere than the places Kim identifies. The paper builds (...)
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  41. A. Campbell Garnett (1942). Scientific Method and the Concept of Emergence. Journal of Philosophy 39 (August):477-86.
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  42. Carl Gillett (2010). Strong Emergence as a Defese of Non-Reductive Physicalism. Principia 6 (1):89-120.
    Jaegwon Kim, and others, have recently posed a powerful challenge to both emergentism and non-reductive physicalism by providing arguments that these positons are committed to an untenabie combination of both 'upward' and 'dounward' determination. In section 1, I illuminate how the nature of the realization relation underlies such skeptical arguments However, in section 2, I suggest that such conclusions involve a confusion between the implications of physicalism and those of a related thesis in 'Completeness of Physics' (CoP). I show tht (...)
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  43. Carl Gillett (2009). On the Implications of Scientific Composition and Completeness: Or, the Troubles, and Troubles, of Non-Reductive Physicalism. In T. O'connor & A. Corradini (eds.), Emergence in Science and Philosophy. Routledge.
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  44. Carl Gillett (2006). Samuel Alexander's Emergentism. Synthese 153 (2):261-296.
    Samuel Alexander was one of the foremost philosophical figures of his day and has been argued by John Passmore to be one of ‘fathers’ of Australian philosophy as well as a novel kind of physicalist. Yet Alexander is now relatively neglected, his role in the genesis of Australian philosophy if far from widely accepted and the standard interpretation takes him to be an anti-physicalist. In this paper, I carefully examine these issues and show that Alexander has been badly, although understandably, (...)
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  45. Carl Gillett (2006). The Hidden Battles Over Emergence. In P. Clayton (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science. Oxford University Press. 801--819.
    By Carl Gillett, Illinois Wesleyan University. Ontological reductionism has long dominated the sciences and intellectual life more broadly. It holds that a ‘final theory’ in physics would, in principle, suffice to explain all natural phenomena and that, ultimately, the entities of such a theory, like quarks with their properties of spin, charm and charge, are all that actually exists. Recently, however, a mounting challenge to this hegemonic reductionism has been focused around ‘emergent’ entities. On one hand, philosophers and a range (...)
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  46. Carl Gillett (2002). Strong Emergence as a Defense of Non-Reductive Physicalism: A Physicalist Metaphysics for 'Downward' Determination. Principia 6 (1):89-120.
    Iaegwon Kim, and others, have recently posed a powerful challen,ge to both emergentism cmd ncm-reductIve physicalism lyy providing arguments that these positums are cornmitted to an untenabie combmation of both `upwarcit and 'clouniwardi determmation. In secuon 1, I illuminate how the nature of the realiza:0n relatzon underlies such sicepucal arguments However, tn secuon 2, I suggest that such conclusicrns involve a confusion between the implications of physicahsm and those of a related thesis the Vompleteness of Physics' (Co?) I show tht (...)
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  47. Carl Gillett (2002). The Varieties of Emergence: Their Purposes, Obligations and Importance. Grazer Philosophische Studien 65 (1):95-121.
    I outline reasons for the recent popularity, and lingering suspicion, about 'emergence' by examining three distinct concepts of property emergence, their purposes and associated obligations. In Part 1, I argue 'Strong' emergence is the grail for many emergentists (and physicalists), since it frames what is needed to block the 'Argument from Realization' (AR) which moves from the truth of physicalism to the inefficacy of special science properties. I then distinguish 'Weak' and 'Ontological' emergence, in Part 2, arguing each is a (...)
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  48. Claudio Gnoli (2008). Categories and Facets in Integrative Levels. Axiomathes 18 (2):177-192.
    Facets and general categories used in bibliographic classification have been based on a disciplinary organization of knowledge. However, facets and categories of phenomena independent from disciplines can be identified similarly. Phenomena can be classified according to a series of integrative levels (layers), which in turn can be grouped into the major strata of form, matter, life, mind, society and culture, agreeing with Nicolai Hartmann’s ontology. Unlike a layer, a stratum is not constituted of elements of the lower ones; rather, it (...)
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  49. Claudio Gnoli & Roberto Poli (2004). Levels of Reality and Levels of Representation. Knowledge Organization 31 (3):151-160.
    Ontology, in its philosophical meaning, is the discipline investigating the structure of reality. Its findings can be relevant to knowledge organization, as well as models of knowledge can in turn offer relevant ontological suggestions. Several philosophers in time have pointed out that reality is structured into a series of integrative levels, like the physical, the biological, the mental, and the cultural one, and that each level plays as a base for the emergence of more complex ones. Among them, more detailed (...)
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  50. James W. Haag (2006). Between Physicalism and Mentalism: Philip Clayton on Mind and Emergence. Zygon 41 (3):633-647.
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