Emergence and Consciousness

Philosophy 88 (4):527-553 (2013)
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Most definitions of radical emergentism characterize it epistemologically. This leads to misunderstandings and makes it hard to assess the doctrine's metaphysical worth. This paper puts forward purely metaphysical characterizations of emergentism and property emergence. It explores the nature of the necessitation relation between base and emergent and argues that emergentism entails a Humean account of causation and related relations. Then it presents arguments against emergentism, both as a wider metaphysic and as an account of consciousness. These maintain that emergentism makes implausible claims about how the world works. The paper also stresses the doctrine's contemporary relevance: most current property dualists endorse views effectively identical to classical emergentism less its historical commitment to novel emergent forces



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Patrick Lewtas
American University of Beirut

Citations of this work

Building minds: solving the combination problem.Pat Lewtas - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (7):742-781.
When is a Concrete Property Basic?Pat Lewtas - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):607-622.
The Irrationality of Physicalism.Pat Lewtas - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (3):313-341.

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References found in this work

Epiphenomenal qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Sensations and brain processes.Jjc Smart - 1959 - Philosophical Review 68 (April):141-56.
The Selfish Gene. [REVIEW]Gunther S. Stent & Richard Dawkins - 1977 - Hastings Center Report 7 (6):33.
Making sense of emergence.Jaegwon Kim - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):3-36.

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