The significance of emergence
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Carl Gillett & Barry M. Loewer (eds.), Physicalism and its Discontents. Cambridge University Press (2001)
This paper is an attempt to understand the content of, and motivation for, a popular form of physicalism, which I call ‘non-reductive physicalism’. Non-reductive physicalism claims although the mind is physical (in some sense), mental properties are nonetheless not identical to (or reducible to) physical properties. This suggests that mental properties are, in earlier terminology, ‘emergent properties’ of physical entities. Yet many non-reductive physicalists have denied this. In what follows, I examine their denial, and I argue that on a plausible understanding of what ‘emergent’ means, the denial is indefensible: non-reductive physicalism is committed to mental properties being emergent properties. It follows that the problems for emergentism—especially the problems of mental causation—are also problems for non-reductive physicalism, and they are problems for the same reason.
|Keywords||Emergence Nonreductive Physicalism|
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Citations of this work BETA
Jesper Kallestrup (2006). The Causal Exclusion Argument. Philosophical Studies 131 (2):459-85.
Elanor Taylor (2015). An Explication of Emergence. Philosophical Studies 172 (3):653-669.
Olivier Sartenaer (2013). Neither Metaphysical Dichotomy nor Pure Identity. Clarifying the Emergentist Creed. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):365-373.
Elanor Taylor (2015). Collapsing Emergence. Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):732-753.
Sami Pihlström (2006). Emergent Truth and a Blind Spot, An Argument Against Physicalism. Facta Philosophica 8 (1-2):79-101.
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