On the Reality of Emergents

Charbel Niño El-Hani


The controversy over the notion of emergence has recently re-emerged But a rigorous debate concerning how it might be explained or defined is often lacking Emergence is discussed here under two strict conditions (l) emergents can be predictable from the knowledge about a system's parts, (ll) emergents can be regarded as dependent on, and deternuned by, the system's micro-structure O'Connor's definmon of an emergent property is taken as a starting-point for a new definmon, incorporating Emmeche and colleagues' analysis of dounward causation and Baas' treatment of emergence It is not necessary to assume that this defintaon might provide the solution to the problem of emergence Rather, theoretical pluralism regarding different pragmatically-workable notions of emergence is welcome The reality of emergents is discussed here from the standpoint of Dennet's mild realism.


Emergence; downward causation; realism

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/%25x

Copyright (c)


Principia: an internationnal journal of epistemology
Published by NEL - Epistemology and Logic Research Group
Federal University of Santa Catarina - UFSC
Center of Philosophy and Human Sciences – CFH
Campus Reitor João David Ferreira Lima
Florianópolis, Santa Catarina - Brazil
CEP: 88040-900

 ISSN: 1414-4217
EISSN: 1808-171

e-mail: principia@contato.ufsc.br