David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal for Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311 (2010)
Some claim that Non-reductive Physicalism (NRP) is an unstable position, on grounds that NRP either collapses into reductive physicalism (contra Non-reduction ), or expands into emergentism of a robust or ‘strong’ variety (contra Physicalism ). I argue that this claim is unfounded, by attention to the notion of a degree of freedom—roughly, an independent parameter needed to characterize an entity as being in a state functionally relevant to its law-governed properties and behavior. I start by distinguishing three relations that may hold between the degrees of freedom needed to characterize certain special science entities, and those needed to characterize (systems consisting of) their composing physical (or physically acceptable) entities; these correspond to what I call ‘reductions’, ‘restrictions’, and ‘eliminations’ in degrees of freedom. I then argue that eliminations in degrees of freedom, in particular—when strictly fewer degrees of freedom are required to characterize certain special science entities than are required to characterize (systems consisting of) their composing physical (or physically acceptable) entities—provide a basis for making sense of how certain special science entities can be both physically acceptable and ontologically irreducible to physical entities
|Keywords||nonreductive physicalism non-reductive physicalism degrees of freedom emergence weak emergence|
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References found in this work BETA
Robert W. Batterman (1998). Why Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics Works: Universality and the Renormalization Group. Philosophy of Science 65 (2):183-208.
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Citations of this work BETA
Fernando Birman (2009). Quantum Mechanics and the Plight of Physicalism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 40 (2):207-225.
Philippe Huneman (2012). Determinism, Predictability and Open-Ended Evolution: Lessons From Computational Emergence. Synthese 185 (2):195-214.
Jonathan Bain (2013). The Emergence of Spacetime in Condensed Matter Approaches to Quantum Gravity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):338-345.
James Blachowicz (2013). The Constraint Interpretation of Physical Emergence. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 44 (1):21-40.
Carl Gillett (2010). Moving Beyond the Subset Model of Realization: The Problem of Qualitative Distinctness in the Metaphysics of Science. Synthese 177 (2):165 - 192.
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