Physicalism, the identity theory, and the concept of emergence

Philosophy of Science 33 (December):360-75 (1966)
I physicalism1 and the weak identity theory deny, while physicalism2 and the radical identity theory assert, that raw feels can be accomodated in a purely physicalistic framework. II A way of interpreting the claim of physicalism1 is that raw feels are emergents. III The doctrine of emergence asserts that: (i) there are different levels of existence, (ii) these levels of existence are distinguishable on the basis of the behaviour of entities of that level, and (iii) an adequate scientific explanation of a lower level is inadequate for a higher level. IV The criteria of emergence are novelty and a priori unpredictability. V Either qualities or laws or both may be regarded as emergents. VI If the alleged impossibility of explaining higher level phenomena on the basis of explanation adequate for lower level phenomena is logical, then the impossibility is either trivial or it implies indeterminism. Consideration of theories of emergence: VII Semantic emergence. On this view emergence is theory-bound, analogous to indefinability or indemonstrability. VIII Methodological emergence. On this view what we regard as emergents depends on the theory we construct. IX Nomological emergence. On this view emergence is an empirical problem. Conclusion: if there are emergents, physicalism2 and the radical identity theory probably have to be abandoned. However, unless actual examples of emergents are produced both theories hold. The logical possibility of falsification is not an objection against physicalism2 and the radical identity theory; it is one of their merits
Keywords Emergence  Identity  Physicalism  Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/288108
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,641
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Some Crucial Issues of Mind-Body Monism.Herbert Feigl - 1971 - Synthese 22 (May):295-312.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

215 ( #17,596 of 2,158,164 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #356,322 of 2,158,164 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums