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

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
Keywords Emergentism  Emergence  Physicalism  Non-reductive physicalism  Wide realization  Realization
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DOI 10.1007/s10516-014-9258-3
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References found in this work BETA

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.
The Nature of Mental States.Hilary Putnam - 1967 - In W.H. Capitan & D.D. Merrill (eds.), Art, Mind, and Religion. Pittsburgh University Press. pp. 1--223.
Is There a Fundamental Level?Jonathan Schaffer - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):498–517.

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