A defense of emergent downward causation
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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At least one of my professors told me that in order to write a good philosophy paper, one should always try to defend as little territory as possible. The danger of this advice is that although it may make one's points defensible, it may also make them not worth defending. In order to avoid both of these extremes, I am going to defend a relatively modest claim, which appears to be necessary but not sufficient for another more ambitious claim, which itself is also necessary for another more ambitious claim, and so on for several layers. I will start with the most ambitious claim, and then work my way down until I come to the claim I believe I have some chance of defending. I will, however, continue to make references to the other layers, to help us remember why the more modest claims are worth thinking about
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