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EmergenceContemporary Readings in Philosophy and Science$
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Mark A. Bedau and Paul Humphreys

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026215

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026215.001.0001

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The Rise and Fall of British Emergentism

The Rise and Fall of British Emergentism

(p.19) 1 The Rise and Fall of British Emergentism

Brian P. McLaughlin

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the special sciences found in the texts of a tradition known as “British Emergentism,” which is still evident in the works of current authors, including those of noted neurophysiologist Roger Sperry. British Emergentism’s roots can be found in the middle of the nineteenth century, where it flourished in the century’s first quarter. It can be seen in John Stuart Mill’s System of Logic (1843), where it began, and through works such as Alexander Bain’s Logic (1870), George Henry Lewes’s Problems of Life and Mind (1875), Samuel Alexander’s Space, Time, and Deity (1920), Lloyd Morgan’s Emergent Evolution (1923), and C. D. Broad’s The Mind and Its Place in Nature (1925). The chapter also discusses British Emergentism’s doctrine of “emergent laws,” and the rise and fall of British Emergentism as a doctrine.

Keywords:   British Emergentism, special sciences, emergent laws, Roger Sperry, John Stuart Mill, Alexander Bain, George Henry Lewes, Samuel Alexander, Lloyd Morgan, C. D. Broad

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