Emergence: Core Ideas and Issues

Jaegwon Kim

in Essays in the Metaphysics of Mind

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585878
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595349 | DOI:
Emergence: Core Ideas and Issues

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“Emergence: Core Ideas and Issues” explores the fundamental ideas that have been driving the idea of emergence and the movement of emergentism. Two conditions are generally, though not universally, assumed to be necessary requirements for emergence. First, an emergent property supervenes on the basal conditions from which it emerges; second, emergent properties are not reducible to their basal conditions. Supervenience is a condition common to both emergentism and reductionism; and irreducibility is basically a negative condition. Thus, the two conditions together do not carry much content. Further, downward causation, which is fundamental to emergentism, remains to be shown to be a coherent and intelligible idea. Thus, there are two unresolved items on the emergentist agenda: a robust positive characterization of emergence and a vindication of downward causation.

Keywords: emergence; emergentism; supervenience; reduction; downward causation

Chapter.  7437 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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