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
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    View all 6 citations

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    89 ( #11,191 of 1,089,157 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    28 ( #3,531 of 1,089,157 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.