Levels of Reality in Science and Philosophy: Re-Examining the Multi-Level Structure of Reality

Springer (2022)
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This book offers a unique perspective on one of the deepest questions about the world we live in: is reality multi-leveled, or can everything be reduced to some fundamental ‘flat’ level? This deep philosophical issue has widespread implications in philosophy, since it is fundamental to how we understand the world and the basic entities in it. Both the notion of ‘levels’ within science and their ontological implications are issues that are underexplored in the philosophical literature. The volume reconsiders the view that reality contains many levels and opens new ways to understand the ontological status of the special sciences. The book focuses on major open questions that arise at the foundations of cognitive science, cognitive psychology, brain science and other special sciences, in particular with respect to the physical foundations of these sciences. For example: Is the mental computational? Do brains compute? How can the special sciences be autonomous from physics, grounded in, or based on, physics and at the same time irreducible to physics? The book is an important read for scientists and philosophers alike. It is of interest to philosophers of science, philosophers of mind and biology interested in the notion of levels, but also to psychologists, cognitive scientists and neuroscientists investigating such issues as the precise relation of the mental to the underlying neural structures and the appropriate approach to study it.



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Levels of reality.John Heil - 2003 - Ratio 16 (3):205–221.
Levels of reality and scales of application.Patrick McGivern - 2013 - In Alexander Bird, Brian David Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism. New York: Routledge.


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Stavros Ioannidis
University of Athens
Orly Shenker
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Gal Vishne
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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