The reemergence of 'emergence'

Philosophy of Science 68 (3):S63-S75 (2001)
  Copy   BIBTEX


A variety of recent philosophical discussions, particularly on topics relating to complexity, have begun to reemploy the concept of 'emergence'. Although multiple concepts of 'emergence' are available, little effort has been made to systematically distinguish them. In this paper, I provide a taxonomy of higher-order properties that (inter alia) distinguishes three classes of emergent properties: (1) ontologically basic properties of complex entities, such as the mythical vital properties, (2) fully configurational properties, such as mental properties as they are conceived of by functionalists and computationalists, and (3) highly configurational/holistic properties, such as the higher-level patterns characteristic of complex dynamical systems. Or more simply: emergence as ontological liberality, emergence as multiple realizability, and emergence as interactive complexity



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,369

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles


Added to PP

141 (#133,195)

6 months
14 (#186,781)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Metaphysical emergence: Weak and Strong.Jessica Wilson - 2015 - In Tomasz Bigaj & Christian Wu╠łthrich (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities. pp. 251-306.
Fundamental Yet Grounded.Joaquim Giannotti - 2021 - Theoria 87 (3):578-599.
Reactive Natural Kinds and Varieties of Dependence.Harriet Fagerberg - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (4):1-27.
Semiosis as an Emergent Process.Joao Queiroz & Charbel Nino El-Hani - 2006 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (1):78-116.

View all 23 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Perceptual symbol systems.Lawrence W. Barsalou - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.
Special sciences.Jerry A. Fodor - 1974 - Synthese 28 (2):97-115.
Discovering Complexity.William Bechtel, Robert C. Richardson & Scott A. Kleiner - 1996 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 18 (3):363-382.

View all 8 references / Add more references