David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 166 (3):479 - 512 (2009)
General Process Theory (GPT) is a new (non-Whiteheadian) process ontology. According to GPT the domains of scientific inquiry and everyday practice consist of configurations of ‘goings-on’ or ‘dynamics’ that can be technically defined as concrete, dynamic, non-particular individuals called general processes. The paper offers a brief introduction to GPT in order to provide ontological foundations for research programs such as interactivism that centrally rely on the notions of ‘process,’ ‘interaction,’ and ‘emergence.’ I begin with an analysis of our common sense concept of activities, which plays a crucial heuristic role in the development of the notion of a general process. General processes are not individuated in terms of their location but in terms of ‘what they do,’ i.e., in terms of their dynamic relationships in the basic sense of one process being part of another. The formal framework of GPT is thus an extensional mereology, albeit a non-classical theory with a non-transitive part-relation. After a brief sketch of basic notions and strategies of the GPT-framework I show how the latter may be applied to distinguish between causal, mechanistic, functional, self-maintaining, and recursively self-maintaining interactions, all of which involve ‘emergent phenomena’ in various senses of the term.
|Keywords||Process ontology Mereology Emergence Mechanism Causation Interaction Selfmaintenance Feedback|
|Categories||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
Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver (2000). Thinking About Mechanisms. Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Peter M. Simons (1987/2000). Parts: A Study in Ontology. Oxford University Press.
Jim Woodward (2002). What is a Mechanism? A Counterfactual Account. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S366-S377.
James G. Tabery (2004). Synthesizing Activities and Interactions in the Concept of a Mechanism. Philosophy of Science 71 (1):1-15.
Paul W. Humphreys (1997). How Properties Emerge. Philosophy of Science 64 (1):1-17.
Citations of this work BETA
Richard Campbell & Mark H. Bickhard (2011). Physicalism, Emergence and Downward Causation. Axiomathes 21 (1):33-56.
Mark H. Bickhard (2015). Toward a Model of Functional Brain Processes I: Central Nervous System Functional Micro-Architecture. Axiomathes 25 (3):217-238.
Mark Bickhard (2011). Some Consequences (and Enablings) of Process Metaphysics. Axiomathes 21 (1):3-32.
Michael D. Kirchhoff (2015). Extended Cognition & the Causal‐Constitutive Fallacy: In Search for a Diachronic and Dynamical Conception of Constitution. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):320-360.
Joseph E. Brenner (2010). A Logic of Ethical Information. Knowledge, Technology & Policy 23 (1-2):109-133.
Similar books and articles
Joao Queiroz & Charbel Niño El-Hani (2006). Semiosis as an Emergent Process. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (1):78-116.
Johanna Seibt (2010). Particulars. In Roberto Poli & Johanna Seibt (eds.), Theories and Applications of Ontology. Springer 23--55.
Christopher Menzel & Michael Grüninger (2001). A Formal Foundation for Process Modeling. In C. Welty B. Smith (ed.), Formal Ontology and Information Systems. ACM Press
Mark H. Bickhard (2009). The Interactivist Model. Synthese 166 (3):547 - 591.
William M. Kallfelz (2009). Physical Emergence and Process Ontology. Process Studies 65 (1):42 – 60.
Douglas Ehring (1986). Causal Processes and Causal Interactions. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:24 - 32.
Johanna Seibt (2004). Free Process Theory: Towards a Typology of Occurrings. [REVIEW] Axiomathes 14 (1-3):23-55.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads65 ( #50,656 of 1,725,443 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #110,437 of 1,725,443 )
How can I increase my downloads?