David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Axiomathes 21 (1):33-56 (2011)
The development of a defensible and fecund notion of emergence has been dogged by a number of threshold issues neatly highlighted in a recent paper by Jaegwon Kim. We argue that physicalist assumptions confuse and vitiate the whole project. In particular, his contention that emergence entails supervenience is contradicted by his own argument that the ‘microstructure’ of an object belongs to the whole object, not to its constituents. And his argument against the possibility of downward causation is question-begging and makes false assumptions about causal sufficiency. We argue, on the contrary, for a rejection of the deeply entrenched assumption, shared by physicalists and Cartesians alike, that what basically exists are things (entities, substances). Our best physics tells us that there are no basic particulars, only fields in process. We need an ontology which gives priority to organization, which is inherently relational. Reflection upon the fact that all biological creatures are far-from-equilibrium systems, whose very persistence depend upon their interactions with their environment, reveals incoherence in the notion of an ‘emergence base’
|Keywords||Physicalism Supervenience Emergence Reduction Processes Downward causation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
S. Alexander (1920). Space, Time, and Deity. Macmillan.
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.
Mark H. Bickhard (1993). Representational Content in Humans and Machines. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 5:285-33.
Mark H. Bickhard (2009). The Interactivist Model. Synthese 166 (3):547 - 591.
Harvey R. Brown & Rom Harré (eds.) (1988). Philosophical Foundations of Quantum Field Theory. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Michel Bitbol (2012). Downward Causation Without Foundations. Synthese 185 (2):233-255.
Matteo Mossio, Leonardo Bich & Alvaro Moreno (2013). Emergence, Closure and Inter-Level Causation in Biological Systems. Erkenntnis 78 (2):153-178.
Stephen Pratten (2013). Critical Realism and the Process Account of Emergence. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 43 (3):251-279.
Similar books and articles
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.
Jaegwon Kim (1992). "Downward Causation" in Emergentism and Nonreductive Physicalism. In Ansgar Beckermann, Hans Flohr & Jaegwon Kim (eds.), Emergence or Reduction?: Prospects for Nonreductive Physicalism. De Gruyter. 119--138.
Achim Stephan (2002). Emergentism, Irreducibility, and Downward Causation. Grazer Philosophische Studien 65 (1):77-93.
Robert C. Bishop (2005). Downward Causation in Fluid Convection. Synthese 160 (2):229 - 248.
Sandra D. Mitchell (2012). Emergence: Logical, Functional and Dynamical. [REVIEW] Synthese 185 (2):171-186.
Carl Gillett (2002). The Varieties of Emergence: Their Purposes, Obligations and Importance. Grazer Philosophische Studien 65 (1):95-121.
Rex Welshon (2002). Emergence, Supervenience, and Realization. Philosophical Studies 108 (1-2):39-51.
Carl Gillett (2002). Strong Emergence as a Defense of Non-Reductive Physicalism: A Physicalist Metaphysics for 'Downward' Determination. Principia 6 (1):89-120.
A. M. Soto, C. Sonnenschein & P. A. Miquel (2008). On Physicalism and Downward Causation in Developmental and Cancer Biology. Acta Biotheoretica 56 (4).
Mark A. Bedau (2002). Downward Causation and the Autonomy of Weak Emergence. Principia 6 (1):5-50.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads157 ( #4,554 of 1,100,855 )
Recent downloads (6 months)18 ( #8,850 of 1,100,855 )
How can I increase my downloads?