Foundations of Physics 49 (11):1253-1277 (2019)

Authors
George Ellis
Cambridge University (PhD)
Abstract
Digital computers carry out algorithms coded in high level programs. These abstract entities determine what happens at the physical level: they control whether electrons flow through specific transistors at specific times or not, entailing downward causation in both the logical and implementation hierarchies. This paper explores how this is possible in the light of the alleged causal completeness of physics at the bottom level, and highlights the mechanism that enables strong emergence to occur. Although synchronic emergence of higher levels from lower levels is manifestly true, diachronic emergence is generically not the case; indeed we give specific examples where it cannot occur because of the causal effectiveness of higher level variables.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10701-019-00307-6
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: 58,843
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Design for a Brain.W. Ross Ashby - 1953 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 4 (14):169-173.
The Constraint Interpretation of Physical Emergence.James Blachowicz - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (1):21-40.
On the Nature of Research in Condensed-State Physics.A. J. Leggett - 1992 - Foundations of Physics 22 (2):221-233.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Emergence of Time.George F. R. Ellis & Barbara Drossel - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (3):161-190.
Emergence in Solid State Physics and Biology.George F. R. Ellis - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (10):1098-1139.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The "Digital Divide" Is Not a Problem in Need of Rectifying.Walter Block - 2004 - Journal of Business Ethics 53 (4):393 - 406.
Digital Humanities, Digital Hegemony.John D. Martin & Carolyn Runyon - 2016 - Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 46 (1):20-26.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-11-02

Total views
12 ( #765,429 of 2,427,271 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #244,020 of 2,427,271 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes