Minds and Machines 18 (4):443-459 (2008)
Weak emergence is the view that a system’s macro properties can be explained by its micro properties but only in an especially complicated way. This paper explains a version of weak emergence based on the notion of explanatory incompressibility and “crawling the causal web.” Then it examines three reasons why weak emergence might be thought to be just in the mind. The first reason is based on contrasting mere epistemological emergence with a form of ontological emergence that involves irreducible downward causation. The second reason is based on the idea that attributions of emergence are always a reflection of our ignorance of non-emergent explanations. The third reason is based on the charge that complex explanations are anthropocentric. Rather than being just in the mind, weak emergence is seen to involve a distinctive kind of complex, macro-pattern in the mind-independent objective micro-causal structure that exists in nature. The paper ends by addressing two further questions. One concerns whether weak emergence applies only or mainly to computer simulations and computational systems. The other concerns the respect in which weak emergence is dynamic rather than static
|Keywords||Computational emergence Dynamic emergence Epistemological emergence Explanatory incompressibility Micro-causal network Micro-causal web Weak emergence|
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References found in this work BETA
The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction, and Emergence.Robert W. Batterman - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Aspects of Scientific Explanation.Carl Gustav Hempel - 1965 - In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Free Press. pp. 504.
Aggregativity: Reductive Heuristics for Finding Emergence.William C. Wimsatt - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):372-84.
Citations of this work BETA
Complex Emergence and the Living Organization: An Epistemological Framework for Biology.Leonardo Bich - 2012 - Synthese 185 (2):215-232.
Determinism, Predictability and Open-Ended Evolution: Lessons From Computational Emergence.Philippe Huneman - 2012 - Synthese 185 (2):195-214.
Weak Emergence Drives the Science, Epistemology, and Metaphysics of Synthetic Biology.Mark A. Bedau - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (4):334-345.
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