David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Croatian Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):217-229 (2003)
Holism and emergence are coherent notions. The paper points to the classes of emergent phenomena -- such as autocatalysis -- that are taken as commonplace phenomena in biological sciences. Thus it questions the Democritean credo, “wholes are completely determined by their parts” (in some of its forms, called mereological determinism), that has become a dogma of contemporary philosophy. A living thing requires the ability to initiate, mediate and terminate processes that produce products that make up the whole. Autocatalysis is one such mechanism, and its action at the level of the whole produces effects on the parts such that the properties, manifested by the parts in the absence of the whole engaged in autocatalysis, are altered. For these reasons, some writers suggest that autocatalysis is a law of organization and that it is emergent. It also appears that this is a case of downward causation -- one that clearly occurs in nature. If this is not a case of downward causation on Kim’s terms, then biological systems that are claimed to be emergent do not need to involve downward causation in his sense. The author thinks that this constitutes downward causation in an important sense -- the causal properties of the whole drive the behavior of the parts. Another set of examples comes from chaos dynamics. Relying on this evidence, the author challenges the Democritean credo (and mereological determinism) and shifts the onus of proof
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Achim Stephan (2002). Emergentism, Irreducibility, and Downward Causation. Grazer Philosophische Studien 65 (1):77-93.
Simon Prosser (2012). Emergent Causation. Philosophical Studies 159 (1):21-39.
Robert C. Bishop (2005). Downward Causation in Fluid Convection. Synthese 160 (2):229 - 248.
Sydney Shoemaker (2002). Kim on Emergence. Philosophical Studies 58 (1-2):53-63.
Menno Hulswit (2005). How Causal is Downward Causation? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 36 (2):261 - 287.
Shaun Le Boutillier (2013). Emergence and Reduction. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 43 (2):205-225.
William S. Robinson (2005). Zooming in on Downward Causation. Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):117-136.
Rex Welshon (2002). Emergence, Supervenience, and Realization. Philosophical Studies 108 (1-2):39-51.
Patrick McGivern & Alexander Rueger (2010). Emergence in Physics. In Antonella Corradini & Timothy O'Connor (eds.), Routledge Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Routledge. 6--213.
Max Kistler (2010). Mechanisms and Downward Causation. Philosophical Psychology 22 (5):595-609.
Sandra D. Mitchell (2012). Emergence: Logical, Functional and Dynamical. [REVIEW] Synthese 185 (2):171-186.
A. M. Soto, C. Sonnenschein & P. A. Miquel (2008). On Physicalism and Downward Causation in Developmental and Cancer Biology. Acta Biotheoretica 56 (4).
Timothy O'Connor (1994). Emergent Properties. American Philosophical Quarterly 31 (2):91-104.
Claus Emmeche, Simo Koppe & Frederick Stjernfelt (2000). Levels, Emergence, and Three Versions of Downward Causation. In P.B. Andersen, Claus Emmeche, N.O. Finnemann & P.V. Christiansen (eds.), Downward Causation. Aarhus, Denmark: University of Aarhus Press. 322-348.
Added to index2011-12-01
Total downloads10 ( #148,407 of 1,102,758 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #120,475 of 1,102,758 )
How can I increase my downloads?