Sixteen Years Later: Making Sense of Emergence (Again)

Authors
Olivier Sartenaer
Catholic University of Louvain
Abstract
Sixteen years after Kim’s seminal paper offering a welcomed analysis of the emergence concept, I propose in this paper a needed extension of Kim’s work that does more justice to the actual diversity of emergentism. Rather than defining emergence as a monolithic third way between reductive physicalism and substance pluralism, and this through a conjunction of supervenience and irreducibility, I develop a comprehensive taxonomy of the possible varieties of emergence in which each taxon—theoretical, explanatory and causal emergence—is properly identified and defined. This taxonomy has two advantages. First, it is unificatory in the sense that the taxa it contains derive from a common unity principle, which consequently constitutes the very hallmark of emergentism. Second, it can be shown that the emergence taxa it contains are able to meet the challenges that are commonly considered as being the hot topics on the emergentists’ agenda, namely the positivity, the consistency and the triviality/liberality challenges
Keywords Downward causation  Emergence  Physicalism  Realization  Reduction  Supervenience
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Reprint years 2016
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DOI 10.1007/s10838-015-9312-x
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References found in this work BETA

Making Sense of Emergence.Jaegwon Kim - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):3-36.

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Citations of this work BETA

Emergent Evolutionism, Determinism and Unpredictability.Olivier Sartenaer - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 51:62-68.
Disentangling the Vitalism–Emergentism Knot.Olivier Sartenaer - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (1):73-88.

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