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Michele Paolo Paoletti

The Quest for Emergence


ISBN: 978-3-88405-122-1

Price: €88.00 (including 7 % tax)


Series: Philosophia Analytica
245 pp Bibliographical References, Library Binding   
Munich 2017
ISBN 978-3-88405-122-1 Print
ISBN 978-3-88405-734-6  E-book                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Each € 88, 00  
 
The Quest for Emergence is a comprehensive philosophical introduction to emergence. It includes the illustration and discussion of the major varieties of emergentism. The book also introduces many scientific examples of emergence and all the problems and objections affecting emergentism. In the introduction, the author provides a characterization of emergence and of some key distinctions: for example, the one between weak and strong emergence. The second chapter contains a short history of British Emergentism. The configure tional forces objection against emergentism is also discussed.

In the third chapter, some cases of weak and strong emergence taken from different scientific disciplines are described in an accessible and informal language. Emergence is considered in physics, chemistry, biology, the neurosciences and informatics, psychology, sociology and economics.
 
In the fourth chapter, the worst enemy of emergentists is introduced: micro-physicalism. All the problems and objections against emergentism are presented and discussed, including Jaegwon Kim’s arguments.
 
After having recalled in the fifth chapter all the desiderata a good emergentist theory should be able to satisfy and all the problems it should be able to solve, the author devotes the sixth chapter to examining many current varieties of emergentism. Finally, in the seventh chapter, he draws a sketch of his own emergentist theory, which is based on two ideas: emergence primarily concerns powers; emergents exercise downward causation through formal influence. 

The Author
Michele Paolini Paoletti is an Adjunct Professor (Professore a Contratto) at the University of Macerata. He was one of the fellows of the Durham Emergence Project, based at Durham University. His main philosophical interests include metaphysics and philosophy of mind. His website is:  http://michelepaolinipaoletti.academia.edu/research
 
Contents
1. Introduction 7
1.1. Emergence: Philosophical, Relational,
Ontological Dependent Novelty 10
1.2. Levels, Causation, Weak vs. Strong, Diachronic
vs. Synchronic, and Other Distinctions 16
1.3. The Plan of This Book 23
2. A Brief History of British Emergentism 27
2.1. Broad: Emergentism vs. Mechanism 27
2.2. Lloyd Morgan and Alexander 33
2.3. Systematic and/or Non-Aggregative: Bunge
and Wimsatt 36
2.4. The Fall of British Emergentism 41
2.5. From Emergence to Configurational Forces 49
3. Some Examples of Emergence 55
3.1. Emergence in Physics 55
3.2. Emergence in Chemistry 65
3.3. Emergence in Biology 72
3.4. Emergence in the Neurosciences
and Informatics 82
3.5. Emergence in Psychology 89
3.6. Emergence in Sociology and Economics 95
4. Know Thy Enemy: Microphysicalism
vs. Emergentism 101
4.1. Microphysicalism 101
4.2. Supervenience Emergentism 104
4.3. Kim I: From Emergence to Diachronic,
Reflexive Downward Causation 109
4.4. Kim II: Against Novel Downward Causation 114
4.5. Emergentism Besieged: a Collection
of Objections 122
5. Interlude: The Desiderata
of Emergentism 137
6. Varieties of Emergentism 141
6.1. Refining Supervenience Emergentism 141
6.2. Weak Emergentism 149
6.3. Fusion and Transformational Emergentism 152
6.4. Special-Causing and Constraint Emergentism 156
6.5. Causal Emergentism 171
6.6. Fundamentality Emergentism 177
6.7. Micro-Latent Emergentism 180
6.8. Process Emergentism 182
6.9. Interventionism and Causal Exclusion 186
7. A Sketch of an Emergentist Theory 189
7.1. Some Ontological Assumptions 189
7.2. Emergent Powers 197
7.3. Downward, Structural, Substance Causation 210
7.4. Looking at the Desiterata 217
7.5. … and at the Objections 224

Bibliographical References 231 



 


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