Philosophy Compass 4 (5):846-858 (2009)
This paper begins by tracing interest in emergence in physics to the work of condensed matter physicist Philip Anderson. It provides a selective introduction to contemporary philosophical approaches to emergence. It surveys two exciting areas of current work that give good reason to re-evaluate our views about emergence in physics. One area focuses on physical systems wherein fundamental theories appear to break down. The other area is the quantum-to-classical transition, where some have claimed that a complete explanation of the behaviors and features of the objects of classical physics entirely in quantum terms is now within our grasp. We suggest that the most useful way to approach the emergent/non-emergent distinction is in epistemic terms, and more specifically that the failure of reductive explanation is constitutive of emergence in physics.
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References found in this work BETA
Order Out of Chaos: Man's New Dialogue with Nature.I. Prigogine - 1984 - Random House.
The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction, and Emergence.Robert W. Batterman - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
The Origins of Order Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution.Stuart A. Kauffman - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation.Ernest Nagel - 1961 - Harcourt, Brace & World.
Citations of this work BETA
Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking in Quantum Systems: Emergence or Reduction?N. P. Landsman - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):379-394.
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