Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
EmergenceContemporary Readings in Philosophy and Science$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Downward Causation and Autonomy in Weak Emergence

Downward Causation and Autonomy in Weak Emergence

Chapter:
(p.155) 8 Downward Causation and Autonomy in Weak Emergence
Source:
Emergence
Author(s):

Mark A. Bedau

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262026215.003.0010

This chapter discusses and attempts to resolve the recurrent philosophical problem that is emergence. Emergent phenomena seem metaphysically objectionable, and some of these objections can be traced back to the autonomy and downward causation that are distinctive of emergent phenomena. The various notions of emergence existing today are contested based on two hallmarks of how macro-level emergent phenomena are related to their micro-level bases. However, there are many ways in which phenomena might be dependent on underlying processes and many ways in which they might be autonomous from underlying processes. A good strategy, then, for understanding emergence is to turn to complexity science for guidance. The chapter expands on the author’s project that introduced the notion of weak emergence to capture the sort of emergence involved in scientific work.

Keywords:   emergence, emergent phenomena, autonomy, downward causation, complexity science, weak emergence

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.