Contextual Emergence of Physical Properties

Foundations of Physics 50 (5):481-510 (2020)

Abstract

Contextual emergence was originally proposed as an inter-level relation between different levels of description to describe an epistemic notion of emergence in physics. Here, we discuss the ontic extension of this relation to different domains or levels of physical reality using the properties of temperature and molecular shape as detailed case studies. We emphasize the concepts of stability conditions and multiple realizability as key features of contextual emergence. Some broader implications contextual emergence has for the foundations of physics and cognitive and neural sciences are given in the concluding discussion. Relevant facts about algebras of observables are found in the appendices along with an abstract definition of Kubo-Martin-Schwinger states.

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Author Profiles

Robert Bishop
Wheaton College, Illinois
George Ellis
Cambridge University (PhD)

References found in this work

Approaches to Reduction.Kenneth F. Schaffner - 1967 - Philosophy of Science 34 (2):137-147.
Types of Inter-Theoretic Reduction.Lawrence Sklar - 1967 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 18 (2):109-124.
Patching Physics and Chemistry Together.Robert C. Bishop - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):710-722.

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Citations of this work

The Causal Closure of Physics in Real World Contexts.George F. R. Ellis - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (10):1057-1097.

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