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Emergence: Contemporary Readings in Philosophy and Science

Mark A. Bedau and Paul Humphreys


Emergence, largely ignored just thirty years ago, has become one of the liveliest areas of research in both philosophy and science. Fueled by advances in complexity theory, artificial life, physics, psychology, sociology, and biology, and by the parallel development of new conceptual tools in philosophy, the idea of emergence offers a way to understand a wide variety of complex phenomena in ways that are intriguingly different from more traditional approaches. This reader collects classic writings on emergence from contemporary philosophy and science. The chapters cover the major approaches to ... More

Keywords: emergence, complexity theory, artificial life, physics, psychology, sociology, biology, philosophy, conceptual tools, complex phenomena

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780262026215
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262026215.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mark A. Bedau, editor

Paul Humphreys, editor

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Mark A. Bedau, and Paul Humphreys

I Philosophical Perspectives on Emergence

2 On the Idea of Emergence

Carl Hempel, and Paul Oppenheim

4 Emergence and Supervenience

Brian P. McLaughlin

6 How Properties Emerge

Paul Humphreys

9 Real Patterns

Daniel C. Dennett

II Scientific Perspectives on Emergence

Introduction to Scientific Perspectives on Emergence

Mark A. Bedau, and Paul Humphreys

11 Emergence

Andrew Assad, and Norman H. Packard

14 The Theory of Everything

Robert B. Laughlin, and David Pines

16 Design, Observation, Surprise! A Test of Emergence

Edmund M. A. Ronald, Moshe Sipper, and Mathieu S. Capcarrère

17 Ansatz for Dynamical Hierarchies

Steen Rasmussen, Nils A. Baas, Bernd Mayer, and Martin Nillson

III Background and Polemics

Introduction to Background and Polemics

Mark A. Bedau, and Paul Humphreys

20 Chaos

James P. Crutchfield, J. Doyne Farmer, Norman H. Packard, and Robert S. Shaw

23 Supervenience

David Chalmers