Reduction and Emergence

In The Physics of Theism. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 225–245 (2014)
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This chapter considers the arguments for and against reductionism and then considers its main rival: emergence. A large part of the reductionist program is generally considered a failure. Philosophers of science have been chipping away at reductionist claims for a couple of decades now. Philosopher Jaegwon Kim has been a central figure in matters of reduction, supervenience, and emergence. He presents three related puzzles for the antireductionist: causal redundancy; downward causation and causal drainage. According to the author, reduction and emergence have earned a place in science and the philosophy of science. The chapter finally presents the diagnosis of the controversy between reductionists and their foes and then briefly considers some theological ramifications.



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Jeffrey Koperski
Saginaw Valley State University

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