Uncoupling Mereology and Supervenience: A Dual Framework for Emergence and Downward Causation

Axiomathes 27 (6):705-720 (2017)

Abstract
The philosophical discussion of emergence is often focused on properties of ‘wholes’ that are evaluated as emergent with respect to the properties of ‘parts’. Downward causation is, consequently, evaluated as some kind of causal influence of whole properties over parts properties. Yet, several important cases in scientific practice seem to be pursuing hypotheses of parts properties emerging from wholes properties, inverting the instinctive association of emergence with wholes. Furthermore, some areas of reflection which are very important for emergence, e.g., the philosophy of consciousness, do not allow mapping properties onto part-whole organizations. The conceptual puzzle is solved by constructing a framework that disentangles the mereological dimension from the superventional dimension. By liberalizing the spatio-temporal allocation of emergent properties, the proposed dual framework could better capture the way in which emergence and downward causation are addressed in scientific practice.
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DOI 10.1007/s10516-017-9361-3
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References found in this work BETA

Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):306-310.
Mental Causation.Stephen Yablo - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.
Top-Down Causation Without Top-Down Causes.Carl F. Craver & William Bechtel - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):547-563.
Making Sense of Emergence.Jaegwon Kim - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):3-36.

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