Synthese 145 (1):131 - 164 (2005)

Authors
Achim Stephan
Universität Osnabrück
Abstract
We will show that there is a strong form of emergence in cell biology. Beginning with C.D. Broad's classic discussion of emergence, we distinguish two conditions sufficient for emergence. Emergence in biology must be compatible with the thought that all explanations of systemic properties are mechanistic explanations and with their sufficiency. Explanations of systemic properties are always in terms of the properties of the parts within the system. Nonetheless, systemic properties can still be emergent. If the properties of the components within the system cannot be predicted, even in principle, from the behavior of the system's parts within simpler wholes then there also will be systemic properties which cannot be predicted, even in principle, on basis of the behavior of these parts. We show in an explicit case study drawn from molecular cell physiology that biochemical networks display this kind of emergence, even though they deploy only mechanistic explanations. This illustrates emergence and its place in nature
Keywords Data  Explanation  Incommensurability  Projection  Science  Theory
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-004-4421-9
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 56,141
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Materialism and Qualia: The Explanatory Gap.Joseph Levine - 1983 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64 (October):354-61.
Making Sense of Emergence.Jaegwon Kim - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):3-36.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Top-Down Causation Without Top-Down Causes.Carl F. Craver & William Bechtel - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):547-563.
Emergent Properties.Hong Yu Wong - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Systems Biology and the Integration of Mechanistic Explanation and Mathematical Explanation.Ingo Brigandt - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):477-492.

View all 50 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Is Weak Emergence Just in the Mind?Mark A. Bedau - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (4):443-459.
Microdeterminism and Concepts of Emergence.Robert L. Klee - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (March):44-63.
The Reemergence of 'Emergence'.Bryon Cunningham - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (3):S63-S75.
Emergentism, Irreducibility, and Downward Causation.Achim Stephan - 2002 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 65 (1):77-93.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
332 ( #23,236 of 2,404,067 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
21 ( #37,183 of 2,404,067 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes