Nonlinearity and Metaphysical Emergence

In Stephen Mumford & Matthew Tugby (eds.), Metaphysics and Science (2013)
Abstract
The nonlinearity of a composite system, whereby certain of its features (including powers and behaviors) cannot be seen as linear or other broadly additive combinations of features of the system's composing entities, has been frequently seen as a mark of metaphysical emergence, coupling the dependence of a composite system on an underlying system of composing entities with the composite system's ontological autonomy from its underlying system. But why think that nonlinearity is a mark of emergence, and moreover, of metaphysical rather than merely epistemological emergence? Are there diverse ways in which nonlinearity might enter into an account of properly metaphysical emergence? And what are the prospects for there actually being phenomena that are metaphysically emergent in any available sense? Here I explore the mutual bearing of nonlinearity and metaphysical emergence, with an eye towards answering these and related questions.
Keywords emergence  physicalism  nonlinear systems  weak emergence  Bedau  Batterman  degrees of freedom  British Emergentism  chaos  phase transitions
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