Emergence, Reduction and Supervenience: A Varied Landscape [Book Review]

Foundations of Physics 41 (6):920-959 (2011)

Authors
Jeremy Butterfield
Cambridge University
Abstract
This is one of two papers about emergence, reduction and supervenience. It expounds these notions and analyses the general relations between them. The companion paper analyses the situation in physics, especially limiting relations between physical theories. I shall take emergence as behaviour that is novel and robust relative to some comparison class. I shall take reduction as deduction using appropriate auxiliary definitions. And I shall take supervenience as a weakening of reduction, viz. to allow infinitely long definitions. The overall claim of this paper will be that emergence is logically independent both of reduction and of supervenience. In particular, one can have emergence with reduction, as well as without it; and emergence without supervenience, as well as with it. Of the subsidiary claims, the four main ones are: : I defend the traditional Nagelian conception of reduction ; : I deny that the multiple realizability argument causes trouble for reductions, or ``reductionism'' ; : I stress the collapse of supervenience into deduction via Beth's theorem ; : I adapt some examples already in the literature to show supervenience without emergence and vice versa.
Keywords Emergence  Reduction  Definitional extension  Nagel  Supervenience  Multiple realisability  Beth’s theorem
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DOI 10.1007/s10701-011-9549-0
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References found in this work BETA

Emergence.Paul Humphreys - 2019 - Oup Usa.
Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2005 - Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Spacetime is as Spacetime Does.Vincent Lam & Christian Wüthrich - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 64:39-51.
Dualities and Emergent Gravity: Gauge/Gravity Duality.Sebastian de Haro - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 59:109-125.

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