David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal for General Philosophy of Science 36 (2):261 - 287 (2005)
The purpose of this paper is to lay bare the major problems underlying the concept of downward causation as discussed within the perspective of the present interest for phenomena that are characterized by self-organization. In our Discussion of the literature, we have focussed on two questions: (1) What sorts of things are said to be, respectively, causing and caused within the context of downward causation? And (2) What is the meaning of 'causing' in downward causation? We have concluded that the concept of 'downward causation' is muddled with regard to the meaning of causation and fuzzy with regard to the nature of the causes and the effects. Moreover, we have concluded that 'causation' in respect of 'downward causation' is usually understood in terms of explanation and determination rather than in terms of causation in the sense of 'bringing about'. Thus, the term 'downward causation' is badly chosen
|Keywords||Aristotelian categories causation causal relata downward causation emergence self-organization formal causation|
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Citations of this work BETA
Mariusz Tabaczek (2013). The Metaphysics of Downward Causation: Rediscovering the Formal Cause. Zygon 48 (2):380-404.
Mauricio Salgado & Nigel Gilbert (2013). Emergence and Communication in Computational Sociology. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 43 (1):87-110.
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.
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