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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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Introduction to Scientific Perspectives on Emergence

Introduction to Scientific Perspectives on Emergence

(p.209) Introduction to Scientific Perspectives on Emergence

Mark A. Bedau

Paul Humphreys

The MIT Press

The following chapters present contemporary scientific perspectives on emergence. Covering a wide range of approaches to emergence, they include examples of each of the leading ideas on emergence: irreducibility, unpredictability, unexplainability, conceptual novelty, and holism. The following chapters also use concrete cases as examples of the flourishing scientific literature invoking emergence today, which are essential reading for those attempting to understand how science deals with emergence. Rich raw material is also offered from which empirically grounded generalizations about emergence in contemporary science can be generated. Comparing the philosophical analyses of emergence in part I with the empirical examples of purported emergent phenomena found in part II is a useful exercise.

Keywords:   contemporary scientific perspectives, emergence, irreducibility, unpredictability, unexplainability, conceptual novelty, holism

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