Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):732-753 (2015)

Authors
Elanor Taylor
Johns Hopkins University
Abstract
The thesis that nature is composed of metaphysical levels is commonly understood in terms of emergence. In this paper, I uncover a problem for accounts of emergence, the collapse problem. The collapse problem suggests that emergence merely tracks relations between arbitrary groups of properties and so cannot be used in service of the levels view. I reject several failed attempts to solve the collapse problem and argue for an alternative solution according to which emergence is not a distinction between metaphysical levels, but instead tracks the unavailability of scientific explanations.
Keywords Emergence  Explanation
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqv039
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References found in this work BETA

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
New Work for a Theory of Universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Studies in the Logic of Explanation.Carl Gustav Hempel & Paul Oppenheim - 1948 - Philosophy of Science 15 (2):135-175.
Dispositions.Stephen Mumford - 1998 - Clarendon Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Groups and Oppression.Elanor Taylor - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (3):520-536.
Power Emergentism and the Collapse Problem.Elanor Taylor - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (2):302-318.
Only Explanation Can Reinflate Emergence.Elanor Taylor - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly (271):385-394.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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