Majority cycling and related social choice paradoxes are often thought to threaten the meaningfulness of democracy. But deliberation can prevent majority cycles – not by inducing unanimity, which is unrealistic, but by bringing preferences closer to single-peakedness. We present the first empirical test of this hypothesis, using data from Deliberative Polls. Comparing preferences before and after deliberation, we find increases in proximity to single-peakedness. The increases are greater for lower versus higher salience issues and for individuals who seem to have (...) deliberated more versus less effectively. They are not merely a byproduct of increased substantive agreement. Our results both refine and support the idea that deliberation, by increasing proximity to single-peakedness, provides an escape from the problem of majority cycling. (shrink)
Using data from a randomized field experiment within a Deliberative Poll, this paper examines deliberation’s effects on both policy attitudes and the extent to which ordinal rankings of policy options approach single-peakedness (a help in avoiding cyclical majorities). The setting was New Haven, Connecticut, and its surrounding towns; the issues were airport expansion and revenue sharing – the former highly salient, the latter not at all. Half the participants deliberated revenue sharing, then the airport; the other half the reverse. This (...) split-half design helps distinguish the effects of the formal on-site deliberations from those of other aspects of the treatment. As expected, the highly salient airport issue saw only a slight effect, while much less salient revenue-sharing issue saw a much larger one. (shrink)
I have been arguing, for almost thirty years now, that emotions have been unduly neglected in philosophy. Back in the seventies, it was an argument that attracted little sympathy. I have also been arguing that emotions are a ripe for philosophical analysis, a view that, as evidenced by the Manchester 2001 conference and a large number of excellent publications, has now become mainstream. My own analysis of emotion, first published in 1973, challenged the sharp divide between emotions and rationality, insisted (...) that we reject the established notion that the emotions are involuntary, and argued, in a brief slogan, that ‘emotions are judgments.’ Since then, although the specific term ‘judgment’ has come under considerable fire and my voluntarist thesis continues to attract incredulousness the general approach I took to emotions has been widely accepted in both philosophy and the social sciences. When Paul Griffiths took on what he misleadingly characterized as ‘propositional attitude’ theories of emotion as the enemy of all that was true and scientifically worthy, I knew that we had made it. Such ferocious abuse is surely a sign that we had shifted, in Kuhnian terms, from being revolutionary to becoming the ‘normal’ paradigm. The current counter-revolution of affect programmes and neuro-reductionism says a lot about who we are and how far we have come. (shrink)
Must no one at all, then, be called happy while he lives; must we, as Solon says, see the end? Even if we are to lay down this doctrine, is it also the case that a man is happy when he is dead ? Or is not this quite absurd, especially for us who say that happiness is an activity? But if we do not call the dead man happy, and if Solon does not mean this, but that one can (...) then safely call a man blessed, as being at last beyond evils and misfortunes, this also affords matter for discussion; for both evil and good are thought to exist for a dead man, as much as for one who is alive but not aware of them; e.g. honours and dishonours and the good or bad fortunes of children, and in general of descendants. And this also presents a problem; for though a man has lived happily until old age and has had a death worthy of his life, many reverses may befall his descendants—some of them may be good and attain the life they deserve, while with others the opposite may be the case; and clearly too the degrees of relationship between them and their ancestors may vary indefinitely. It would be odd, then, if the dead man were to share in these changes and become at one time happy, at another wretched; while it would also be odd if the fortunes of the descendants did not for some time have some effect on the happiness of their ancestors. (shrink)
Give style to your character, a great and rare art. Nietzsche Gay Science What are we to make of Nietzsche? There has been an explosion of scholarship over the past twenty years, much of it revealing and insightful, a good deal of it controversial if not polemical. The controversy and polemics are for the most part straight from Nietzsche, of course, and the scholarly disputes over what he ‘really’ meant are rather innocuous and often academic compared with what Nietzsche meant (...) with his conscientiously inflammatory rhetoric and hyperbole. We have been treated to extended debates about Nietzsche's politics, his attacks on Christianity and morality, his famed notion of the übermensch and his less lampooned doctrine of the ‘eternal recurrence’. We have recently heard Nietzsche reinterpreted as an analytic philosopher, as a deconstructionist, as a feminist, even as a closet Christian and a liberal. Stephen Aschheim suggests in his recent book that Nietzsche provides us with something like a Rorschach test, inviting readers with amazingly different commitments and ideologies to ‘make their own Nietzsche’. But there is another approach to Nietzsche, something quite different from interpreting him in terms of his various ‘theses’ and positions, unpacking his ‘system’ or repeating unhelpfully that he displayed no such coherence and consistency, something more than finding out ‘who’ Nietzsche is as opposed to what we have made out of him. The simplest way of getting at this alternative approach might be to ask, what Nietzsche would make of us? I grant that this is a bit cryptic, and it invites a variety of unflattering answers. But I think it is very much in the spirit of what he are all about. It is an intimately personal approach to Nietzsche, an approach that will, no doubt, be somewhat different for each and every one of us. But that, too, of course, is just what Nietzsche would have demanded. (shrink)
The Greek philosopher Aristotle, writing over two thousand years before Wall Street, called people who engaged in activities which did not contribute to society "parasites." In his latest work, renowned scholar Robert C. Solomon asserts that though capitalism may require capital, but it does not require, much less should it be defined by the parasites it inevitably attracts. Capitalism has succeeded not with brute strength or because it has made people rich, but because it has produced responsible citizens and--however (...) unevenly--prosperous communities. It cannot tolerate a conception of business that focuses solely on income and vulgarity while ignoring traditional virtues of responsibility, community, and integrity. Many feel that there is too much lip-service and not enough understanding of the importance of cooperation and integrity in corporate life. This book rejects the myths and metaphors of war-like competition that cloud business thinking and develops an "Aristotelean" theory of business. The author's approach emphasizes several core concepts: the corporation as community, the search for excellence, the importance of integrity and sound judgment, as well as a more cooperative and humane vision of business. Solomon stresses the virtues of honesty, trust, fairness, and compassion in the competitive business world, and confronts the problem of "moral mazes" and what he posits as its solution--moral courage. (shrink)
In Context and Content Robert Stalnaker develops a philosophical picture of the nature of speech and thought and the relations between them. Two themes in particular run through these collected essays: the role that the context in which speech takes place plays in accounting for the way language is used to express thought, and the role of the external environment in determining the contents of our thoughts. Stalnaker argues against the widespread assumption of the priority of linguistic over mental (...) representation, which he suggests has had a distorting influence on our understanding. The first part of the book develops a framework for representing contexts and the way they interact with the interpretation of what is said in them. This framework is used to help to explain a range of linguistic phenomena concerning presupposition and assertion, conditional statements, the attribution of beliefs, and the use of names, descriptions, and pronouns to refer. Stalnaker then draws out the conception of thought and its content that is implicit in this framework. He defends externalism about thought--the assumption that our thoughts have the contents they have in virtue of the way we are situated in the world--and explores the role of linguistic action and linguistic structure in determining the contents of our thoughts. Context and Content offers philosophers and cognitive scientists a summation of Stalnaker's important and influential work in this area. His new introduction to the volume gives an overview of this work and offers a convenient way in for those who are new to it. The Oxford Cognitive Science series is a new forum for the best contemporary work in this flourishing field, where various disciplines--cognitive psychology, philosophy, linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and computational theory--join forces in the investigation of thought, awareness, understanding, and associated workings of the mind. Each book constitutes an original contribution to its subject, but will be accessible beyond the ranks of specialists, so as to reach a broad interdisciplinary readership. The series will be carefully shaped and steered with the aim of representing the most important developments in the field and bringing together its constituent disciplines. (shrink)
It is here argued that functionalist constraints on psychology do not preclude the applicability of classic forms of reduction and, therefore, do not support claims to a principled, or de jure, autonomy of psychology. In Part I, after isolating one minimal restriction any functionalist theory must impose on its categories, it is shown that any functionalism imposing an additional constraint of de facto autonomy must also be committed to a pure functionalist--that is, a computationalist--model for psychology. Using an extended parallel (...) to the reduction of Mendelian to molecular genetics, it is shown in Parts II and III that, contrary to the claims of Hilary Putnam and Jerry Fodor, there is no inconsistency between computational models and classical reductionism: neither plurality of physical realization nor plurality of function are inconsistent with reductionism as defended by Ernest Nagel. Employing the results of Part I, the conclusions of Parts II and III are generalized in Part IV to cover any version of functionalism whatsoever; thus, functionalism and reductionism are shown to be consistent. It is urged in conclusion that although a de facto form of autonomy is defensible, there are sound methodological grounds for unconditionally rejecting any principled version of the autonomy of psychology. (shrink)
Robert C. Roberts first presented his vivid account of emotions as 'concern-based construals' in his book Emotions: An Essay in Aid of Moral Psychology. In this new book he extends that account to the moral life. He explores the ways in which emotions can be a basis for moral judgments, how they account for the deeper moral identity of actions we perform, how they are constitutive of morally toned personal relationships like friendship, enmity, collegiality and parenthood, and how pleasant (...) and unpleasant emotions interact with our personal wellbeing. He then sketches how, by means of their moral dimensions, emotions participate in our virtues and vices, and for better or worse, express our moral character. His rich study will interest a wide range of readers working on virtue ethics, moral psychology and emotion theory. (shrink)
The authors review the empirical literature in order to assess which variables are postulated as influencing ethical beliefs and decision making. The variables are divided into those unique to the individual decision maker and those considered situational in nature. Variables related to an individual decision maker examined in this review are nationality, religion, sex, age, education, employment, and personality. Situation specific variables examined in this review are referent groups, rewards and sanctions, codes of conduct, type of ethical conflict, organization effects, (...) industry, and business competitiveness. The review identifies the variables that have been empirically tested in an effort to uncover what is known and what we need to know about the variables that are hypothesized as determinants of ethical decision behavior. (shrink)
Robert Stalnaker opposes the traditional view that knowledge of one's own current thoughts and feelings is the unproblematic foundation for all knowledge. He argues that we can understand our knowledge of our thoughts and feelings only by viewing ourselves from the outside, by seeing our inner lives as features of the world as it is in itself.
Starting in the middle -- Epistemic possibilities and the knowledge argument -- Locating ourselves in the world -- Notes on models of self-locating belief -- Phenomenal and epistemic indistinguishability -- Acquaintance and essence -- Knowing what one is thinking -- After the fall.
“What is an emotion?” William James asked that question in the title of an essay he wrote in 1884, and his answer was that an emotion is a sensation brought about by bodily disturbance. Writing as a psychologist, he was concerned to help turn his discipline into a science. But as a philosopher writing about religious faith, by contrast, James argued that emotions must be understood in terms of such large and fuzzy issues as “the meaning of life.” The philosophy (...) of emotions and emotions research has since gone off in two quite different directions, one a broad-based perennial philosophical concern with the proper place of the emotions in ethics and living well, the other an increasingly sophisticated pursuit of the latest ammunition and theoretical weaponry in the biological and neurological sciences. (shrink)
Robert Stalnaker draws together in this volume his seminal work in metaphysics. The central theme is the role of possible worlds in articulating our various metaphysical commitments. The book begins with reflections on the general idea of a possible world, and then uses the framework of possible worlds to formulate and clarify some questions about properties and individuals, reference, thought, and experience. The essays also reflect on the nature of metaphysics, and on the relation between questions about what there (...) is and questions about how we talk and think about what there is. Two of the fourteen essays, plus an extensive introduction that sets the papers in context and draws out the essays' common threads, are published here for the first time. (shrink)
Reviews the book, Upheavals of thought: The intelligence of emotions by Martha C. Nussbaum . Drawing from an astounding array of sources, Nussbaum argues against the common understanding of emotions as irrational and animalistic impulses disconnected from our thoughts and reason. Rather, she argues that emotions are highly discriminating responses to what is of value and importance that are, therefore, suffused with intelligence and discernment. Nussbaum explores the structure of a wide range of emotions, in particular, compassion and love, in (...) order to show that there can be no adequate ethical theory without an adequate theory of emotional experience and meaning. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Is business ethics a contradiction in terms? Absolutely not, says Robert Solomon. In fact, he maintains that sound ethics is a necessary precondition of any long-term business enterprise, and that excellence in business must exist on the foundation of values that most of us hold dear. Drawing on twenty years of experience consulting with major corporations on ethics, Solomon clarifies the difficult ethical choices all people in business are faced with from time to time. He takes an "Aristotelian" approach (...) to ethical questions, reminding readers that a corporation--like an individual--is embedded in a community, and that corporate values such as fairness and honesty are meaningless until transformed into action. Values--coupled with action--become virtues, and virtues make possible any good business corporate relationship. Without a base of shared values, trust and mutual benefits, today's national and international business world will fall apart. In keeping with his conviction that virtue and profit must thrive together, Solomon both examines the ways in which deficient values actually destroy businesses, and debunks the pervasive myths that encourage unethical business practices. Complete with a working catalog of virtues designed to illustrate the importance of integrity in any business situation, this compelling handbook contains a goldmine of wisdom for either the small business manager or the corporate executive struggling with ethical issues. (shrink)
Friedrich Nietzsche is often depicted in popular and scholarly discourse as a lonely philosopher dealing with abstract concerns unconnected to the intellectual debates of his time and place. Robert C. Holub counters this narrative, arguing that Nietzsche was very well attuned to the events and issues of his era and responded to them frequently in his writings. Organized around nine important questions circulating in Europe at the time in the realms of politics, society, and science, Nietzsche in the Nineteenth (...) Century presents a thorough investigation of Nietzsche's familiarity with contemporary life, his contact with and comments on these various questions, and the sources from which he gathered his knowledge. Holub begins his analysis with Nietzsche's views on education, nationhood, and the working-class movement, turns to questions of women and women's emancipation, colonialism, and Jews and Judaism, and looks at Nietzsche's dealings with evolutionary biology, cosmological theories, and the new "science" of eugenics. He shows how Nietzsche, although infrequently read during his lifetime, formulated his thought in an ongoing dialogue with the concerns of his contemporaries, and how his philosophy can be conceived as a contribution to the debates taking place in the nineteenth century. Throughout his examination, Holub finds that, against conventional wisdom, Nietzsche was only indirectly in conversation with the modern philosophical tradition from Descartes through German idealism, and that the books and individuals central to his development were more obscure writers, most of whom have long since been forgotten. This book thus sheds light on Nietzsche's thought as enmeshed in a web of nineteenth-century discourses and offers new insights into his interactive method of engaging with the philosophical universe of his time. (shrink)
This is a sustained critique of materialism. The contributors offer arguments from conscious experience, rational thought, the interaction of mind and body, and the unity and persisting identity of human persons, and develop a wide range of alternatives.
This book develops a framework for analysing strategic rationality, a notion central to contemporary game theory, which is the formal study of the interaction of rational agents and which has proved extremely fruitful in economics, political theory and business management. The author argues that a logical paradox lies at the root of a number of persistent puzzles in game theory, in particular those concerning rational agents who seek to establish some kind of reputation. Building on the work of Parsons, Burge, (...) Gaifman and Barwise and Etchemendy, Robert Koons constructs a context-sensitive solution to the whole family of liar-like paradoxes including, for the first time, a detailed account of how the interpretation of paradoxical statements is fixed by context. This analysis provides an understanding of how the rational agent model can account for the emergence of rules, practices and institutions. (shrink)
In the beginning, there was the DN (Deductive Nomological) model of explanation, articulated by Hempel and Oppenheim (1948). According to DN, scientific explanation is subsumption under natural law. Individual events are explained by deducing them from laws together with initial conditions (or boundary conditions), and laws are explained by deriving them from other more fundamental laws, as, for example, the simple pendulum law is derived from Newton's laws of motion.
As a procedure, reflective equilibrium is simply a familiar kind of standard scientific method with a new name. A theory is constructed to account for a set of observations. Recalcitrant data may be rejected as noise or explained away as the effects of interference of some sort. Recalcitrant data that cannot be plausibly dismissed force emendations in theory. What counts as a plausible dismissal depends, among other things, on the going theory, as well as on background theory and on knowledge (...) that may be relevant to under-standing the experimental design that is generating the observations, including knowledge of the apparatus and observation conditions. This sort of mutual adjustment between theory and data is a familiar feature of scientific practice. Whatever authority RE seems to have comes, I think, from a tacit or explicit recognition that it has the same form as this familiar sort of scientific inference. One way to see the rationale underlying this procedure in science is to focus on prediction. Think of prediction as a matter of projecting what is known onto uncharted territory. To do this, you need a vehicle—a theory—that captures some invariant or pattern in what is known so that you can project it onto the unknown. How convincing the projection is depends on two factors: how sure one is of the observational base, and how sure one is that the theory gets the invariants right. The two factors are not independent, of course. One's confidence in the observational base will be affected by how persuasively the theory identifies and dismisses noise; one's confidence in the theory, on the other hand, will depend on one's confidence in the observations it takes seriously. Prediction is important as a test of theory precisely because verified predictions seem to show that the theory has correctly captured the general in the particular, that it has got the drift of the observational evidence in which our confidence is ultimately grounded. (shrink)
_Metaphysics: The Fundamentals_ presents readers with a systematic, comprehensive introductory overview of modern analytic metaphysics. Presents an accessible, up-to-date and broad-ranging survey of one of the most dynamic and often daunting sub-fields in contemporary philosophy Introduces readers to the seminal works of contemporary and historic philosophers, including Descartes, Leibniz, Russell, David Lewis, Alvin Plantinga, Kit Fine, Peter van Inwagen, John Hawthorne and many others Explores key questions while identifying important assumptions, axioms, and methodological principles Addresses topics in ontology, modality, causality, (...) and universals; as well as issues surrounding material composition, persistence, space, and time. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to draw a connection between a semantical theory of conditional statements and the theory of conditional probability. First, the probability calculus is interpreted as a semantics for truth functional logic. Absolute probabilities are treated as degrees of rational belief. Conditional probabilities are explicitly defined in terms of absolute probabilities in the familiar way. Second, the probability calculus is extended in order to provide an interpretation for counterfactual probabilities--conditional probabilities where the condition has zero probability. (...) Third, conditional propositions are introduced as propositions whose absolute probability is equal to the conditional probability of the consequent on the antecedent. An axiom system for this conditional connective is recovered from the probabilistic definition. Finally, the primary semantics for this axiom system, presented elsewhere, is related to the probabilistic interpretation. (shrink)
Does the content of a physically dangerous job affect the moral permissibility of hiring for that job? To what extent may employers consider costs in choosing workplace safety measures? Drawing on Kantian ethical theory, this article defends two strong ethical standards of workplace safety. First, the content of a hazardous job does indeed affect the moral permissibility of offering it. Unless employees need hazard pay to meet basic needs, it is permissible to offer a dangerous job only if prospective employees (...) have a reason other than hazard pay to choose this job instead of safer alternatives. Second, employers typically cannot justify omitting expensive safety measures by paying employees more, even if employees prefer higher pay to greater safety. Employers offering dangerous jobs must meet these two standards to avoid treating their employees merely as means. (shrink)
I would like to defend a conception of life that many of us in philosophy practice but few of us preach, and with it a set of virtues that have often been ignored in ethics. In short, I would like to defend what philosopher Sam Keen, among many others, has called the passionate life. It is neither exotic nor unfamiliar. It is a life defined by emotions, by impassioned engagement and belief, by one or more quests, grand projects, embracing affections. (...) It is also sometimes characterized in terms of frenzy, vaulting ambition, essentially insatiable goals, impossible affections. I want to contrast this conception of life with ordinary morality and “being a good person,” although for obvious reasons I do not want to say that one must give up the latter in pursuing the former. This is a mistake that Nietzsche often suggests with his “immor-alist” posturing and warrior metaphors, but I am convinced—on a solid textual basis—that he intended no such result. Nor do I want to dogmatically assert any superiority of a passionate, engaged life over a life that is more calm and routine. On the other hand, I do want to raise the question whether mere proper living, obedience to the law, utilitarian “rational choice” calculations, respect for others' rights and for contracts, and a bit of self-righteousness is all there is to a good life, even if one “fills in” the nonmoral spaces with permissible pleasures and accomplishments. Even a greatly enriched version of Kant, in other words, such as that recently defended by Barbara Herman, unfairly denigrates a kind of life that many of us deem desirable. (shrink)
DO WE CHOOSE OUR EMOTIONS? Can we be held responsible for our anger? for feeling jealousy? for falling in love or succumbing to resentment or hatred? The suggestion sounds odd because emotions are typically considered occurrences that happen to us: emotions are taken to be the hallmark of the irrational and the disruptive. Controlling one’s emotion is supposed to be like the caging and taming of a wild beast, the suppression and sublimation of a Freudian "it.".
The cosmological argument for God’s existence has a long history, but perhaps the most inﬂuential version of it has been the argument from contingency. This is the version that Frederick Copleston pressed upon Bertrand Russell in their famous debate about God’s existence in 1948 (printed in Russell’s 1957 Why I am not a Christian). Russell’s lodges three objections to the Thomistic argument.
A central goal of modern generative grammar has been to discover invariant properties of human languages that reflect “the innate schematism of mind that is applied to the data of experience” and that “might reasonably be attributed to the organism itself as its contribution to the task of the acquisition of knowledge” (Chomsky, 1971). Candidates for such invariances include the structure dependence of grammatical rules, and in particular, certain constraints on question formation. Various “poverty of stimulus” (POS) arguments suggest that (...) these invariances reflect an innate human endowment, as opposed to common experience: Such experience warrants selection of the grammars acquired only if humans assume, a priori, that selectable grammars respect substantive constraints. Recently, several researchers have tried to rebut these POS arguments. In response, we illustrate why POS arguments remain an important source of support for appeal to a priori structure-dependent constraints on the grammars that humans naturally acquire. (shrink)
Should the responsibilities of business managers be understood independently of the social circumstances and “market forces”that surround them, or (in accord with empiricism and the social sciences) are agents and their choices shaped by their circumstances,free only insofar as they act in accordance with antecedently established dispositions, their “character”? Virtue ethics, of which I consider myself a proponent, shares with empiricism this emphasis on character as well as an affinity with the social sciences. But recent criticisms of both empiricist and (...) virtue ethical accounts of character deny even this apparent compromise between agency and environment. Here is an account of character that emphasizes dynamic interaction both in the formation and in the interplay between personal agency and responsibility on the one hand and social pressures and the environment on the other. (shrink)
We live our lives through our emotions, writes Robert Solomon, and it is our emotions that give our lives meaning. What interests or fascinates us, who we love, what angers us, what moves us, what bores us--all of this defines us, gives us character, constitutes who we are. In True to Our Feelings, Solomon illuminates the rich life of the emotions--why we don't really understand them, what they really are, and how they make us human and give meaning to (...) life. Emotions have recently become a highly fashionable area of research in the sciences, with brain imaging uncovering valuable clues as to how we experience our feelings. But while Solomon provides a guide to this cutting-edge research, as well as to what others--philosophers and psychologists--have said on the subject, he also emphasizes the personal and ethical character of our emotions. He shows that emotions are not something that happen to us, nor are they irrational in the literal sense--rather, they are judgements we make about the world, and they are strategies for living in it. Fear, anger, love, guilt, jealousy, compassion--they are all essential to our values, to living happily, healthily, and well. Solomon highlights some of the dramatic ways that emotions fit into our ethics and our sense of the good life, how we can make our emotional lives more coherent with our values and be more "true to our feelings" and cultivate emotional integrity. The story of our lives is the story of our passions. We fall in love, we are gripped by scientific curiosity and religious fervor, we fear death and grieve for others, we humble ourselves in envy, jealousy, and resentment. In this remarkable book, Robert Solomon shares his fascination with the emotions and illuminates our passions in an exciting new way. (shrink)
Materialism—the view that all of reality is wholly determined by the very, very small—and extreme nominalism—the view that properties, kinds, and qualities do not really exist—have been the dominant view in analytic philosophy for the last 100 years or so. Both views, however, have failed to provide adequate accounts for the possibility of intentionality and of knowledge. We must therefore look to alternatives. One well-tested alternative, the hylomorphism of Aristotle and the medieval scholastics, was rejected without being refuted and so (...) deserves further examination. I will argue that Aristotelian hylomorphic provides a markedly superior account of knowledge, cognitive normativity, and intentionality. (shrink)
One of the gaps in the current international marketing literature is in the area of consumer ethics. Using a sample drawn from Japanese consumers, this study investigates these individuals' reported ethical ideology and their perception of a number of different ethical situations in the realm of consumer behavior. Comparisons are then made across several demographic characteristics. The results reveal differences which provide theoretical support for expanded research in the area of cross-cultural/cross-national consumer ethics and highlight the need for managers to (...) consider possible differences in the ethical behavior of consumers when entering a new international market. In addition, this study extends current knowledge in international marketing ethics by utilizing a research design and survey instruments similar to previous studies on consumer ethics. (shrink)
The role of contingent contexts in formulating relations between properties of systems at different descriptive levels is addressed. Based on the distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions for interlevel relations, a comprehensive classification of such relations is proposed, providing a transparent conceptual framework for discussing particular versions of reduction, emergence, and supervenience. One of these versions, contextual emergence, is demonstrated using two physical examples: molecular structure and chirality, and thermal equilibrium and temperature. The concept of stability is emphasized as a (...) basic guiding principle of contextual property emergence. (shrink)