Emergence and strange attractors

Philosophy of Science 63 (2):245-61 (1996)
Recent work in the Philosophy of Mind has suggested that alternatives to reduction are required in order to explain the relationship between psychology and biology or physics. Emergence has been proposed as one such alternative. In this paper, I propose a precise definition of emergence, and I argue that chaotic systems provide concrete examples of properties that meet this definition. In particular, I suggest that being in the basin of attraction of a strange attractor is an emergent property of any chaotic nonlinear dynamical system. This shows that non-reductive accounts of inter-theoretic relations are necessary, and that non-reductive accounts of the mental are possible. Moreover, this work provides a foundation for future work investigating the nature of explanation, prediction, and scientific understanding of non-reductive phenomena
Keywords Biology  Mind  Physics  Psychology  Science
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DOI 10.1086/289911
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Olivier Sartenaer (2015). Synchronic Vs. Diachronic Emergence: A Reappraisal. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (1):31-54.

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