David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 145 (1):131 - 164 (2005)
We will show that there is a strong form of emergence in cell biology. Beginning with C.D. Broad's classic discussion of emergence, we distinguish two conditions sufficient for emergence. Emergence in biology must be compatible with the thought that all explanations of systemic properties are mechanistic explanations and with their sufficiency. Explanations of systemic properties are always in terms of the properties of the parts within the system. Nonetheless, systemic properties can still be emergent. If the properties of the components within the system cannot be predicted, even in principle, from the behavior of the system's parts within simpler wholes then there also will be systemic properties which cannot be predicted, even in principle, on basis of the behavior of these parts. We show in an explicit case study drawn from molecular cell physiology that biochemical networks display this kind of emergence, even though they deploy only mechanistic explanations. This illustrates emergence and its place in nature
|Keywords||Data Explanation Incommensurability Projection Science Theory|
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Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2011). Part-Whole Science. Synthese 178 (3):397-427.
Hugues Bersini, Pasquale Stano, Pier Luigi Luisi & Mark A. Bedau (2012). Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Emergence. Synthese 185 (2):165-169.
Ingo Brigandt (2013). Systems Biology and the Integration of Mechanistic Explanation and Mathematical Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):477-492.
Jason Megill (2013). A Defense of Emergence. Axiomathes 23 (4):597-615.
Tomislav Bracanović (2007). Building Blocks in Search of a Theory: Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved, Frans de Waal . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006, (209 Pp; $22.95 Hbk; ISBN 0691124477). [REVIEW] Biological Theory 2 (4):422-424.
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