Causal emergentism

Acta Analytica 19 (33):65-81 (2004)
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Abstract

In this paper I describe basic features of traditional (British) emergentism and Popper’s emergentist theory of consciousness and compare them to the contemporary versions of emergentism present in connectionist approach in cognitive sciences. I argue that despite their similarities, the traditional form, as well as Popper’s theory belong to strong causal emergentism and yield radically different ontological consequences compared to the weaker, contemporary version present in cognitive science. Strong causal emergentism denies the causal closure of the physical domain and introduces genuine new mental causal powers and genuine downward causation, while weak emergentism provides new insights in understanding the mechanisms and explanation that is compatible with physicalism.

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Olga Markič
University of Ljubljana

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