David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The assumption that wholes have properties, specifically causally efficacious properties, which the sum of its parts seem to lack, lends support to the argument that wholes are something more than the sum of their parts. The properties of the whole are taken to be the result of the particular arrangement of the whole’s parts. The rearrangement of parts makes new properties emerge for a particular whole. This creates hierarchical ontological levels of properties in an object. My purpose in this paper will be to undermine the preceding lines of thought as valid support for wholes being “over and above” the sums of their parts. I begin by pointing out that the costs of a theory where arrangement entails new, unique and distinct properties for a whole carry two unattractive commitments: a reliance on a scientifically disproved version of early Emergentism and causal redundancy. I, then, present an alternative theory to explain the relationship between the properties of wholes and arrangement: my contention will be that the properties that we attribute to wholes are actually the manifestation of preexisting, but heretofore unmanifested, properties of parts, which manifest only when a specific part comes in contact with another specific part in a particular arrangement. I argue that the properties of a part are all we need to give a complete account for the properties of a whole.
|Keywords||Ontology Material Composition Emergence|
No categories specified
(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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Shaun Le Boutillier (2013). Emergence and Reduction. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 43 (2):205-225.
Tudor Baetu (2012). Emergence, Therefore Antireductionism? A Critique of Emergent Antireductionism. Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):433-448.
F. C. Boogerd, F. J. Bruggeman, Robert C. Richardson, Achim Stephan & H. Westerhoff (2005). Emergence and Its Place in Nature: A Case Study of Biochemical Networks. Synthese 145 (1):131 - 164.
Kris McDaniel (2010). Parts and Wholes. Philosophy Compass 5 (5):412-425.
David Robb (2005). Qualitative Unity and the Bundle Theory. The Monist 88 (4):466-92.
Philippe Huneman (2008). Emergence Made Ontological? Computational Versus Combinatorial Approaches. Philosophy of Science 75 (5):595-607.
Ross P. Cameron (forthcoming). Parts Generate the Whole, but They Are Not Identical to It. In Donald Baxter & Aaron Cotnoir (eds.), Composition as Identity. Oxford University Press.
D. H. Mellor (2006). Wholes and Parts: The Limits of Composition. South African Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):138-145.
Added to index2011-02-01
Total downloads72 ( #19,328 of 1,101,156 )
Recent downloads (6 months)22 ( #6,680 of 1,101,156 )
How can I increase my downloads?