A Physicalistic Account of Emergentism

Axiomathes 25 (4):479-494 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Jaegwon Kim’s argument against non-reductive physicalism is well known. Many philosophers take Kim’s argument to also apply to emergentism. But this does not necessarily follow. In this paper, I will first briefly show why Kim’s argument against non-reductive physicalism need not apply to emergentism. Next, I will present a physicalistic account of emergentism offered by Jason Megill in his paper “A Defense of Emergence.” This will be followed by an examination of some of the limitations of Megill’s account, in particular, his failure to adequately account for the causal powers of higher level physical properties independent of realization. Finally, I will offer a suggestion on how Megill might avoid the difficulties raised by appealing to the concept of wide realization espoused by Robert Wilson in his paper “Two Views of Realization.” The overarching theme of the paper centers on the idea that the realization requirement is where the action is, in terms of making emergentism compatible with physicalism, and is capable of being tinkered with by the emergentist and physicalist alike



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,429

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles


Added to PP

78 (#153,642)

6 months
4 (#171,574)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2005 - Princeton University Press.
Physicalism.Daniel Stoljar - 2010 - Routledge.
Making Sense of Emergence.Jaegwon Kim - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):3-36.
Multiple Realization and the Metaphysics of Reduction.Jaegwon Kim - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1):1-26.
精神状态的性质.Hilary Putnam - 1967 - In W. H. Capitan & D. D. Merrill (eds.), 艺术、思想和宗教. Pittsburgh University Press. pp. 1--223.

View all 20 references / Add more references