Collapsing Emergence

Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):732-753 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The thesis that nature is composed of metaphysical levels is commonly understood in terms of emergence. In this paper, I uncover a problem for accounts of emergence, the collapse problem. The collapse problem suggests that emergence merely tracks relations between arbitrary groups of properties and so cannot be used in service of the levels view. I reject several failed attempts to solve the collapse problem and argue for an alternative solution according to which emergence is not a distinction between metaphysical levels, but instead tracks the unavailability of scientific explanations.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,038

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

An explication of emergence.Elanor Taylor - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):653-669.
Emergence, Neither True Nor Brute.Peter Wyss - 2012 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (9-10):9-10.
Microdeterminism and concepts of emergence.Robert L. Klee - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (March):44-63.
Synchronic vs. diachronic emergence: a reappraisal.Olivier Sartenaer - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (1):31-54.
Emergence: Core ideas and issues.Jaegwon Kim - 2006 - Synthese 151 (3):547-559.
Physicalism, the identity theory, and the concept of emergence.John Kekes - 1966 - Philosophy of Science 33 (December):360-75.
Computational and conceptual emergence.Paul Humphreys - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):584-594.
Emergence and the realist account of cause.Dave Elder-Vass - 2005 - Journal of Critical Realism 4 (2):315-338.
Is weak emergence just in the mind?Mark A. Bedau - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (4):443-459.
Synchronic and diachronic emergence.Paul Humphreys - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (4):431-442.
Nonlinearity and metaphysical emergence.Jessica M. Wilson - 2013 - In Stephen Mumford & Matthew Tugby (eds.), Metaphysics and Science.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-04-14

Downloads
123 (#138,243)

6 months
3 (#503,027)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Elanor Taylor
Johns Hopkins University

Citations of this work

Must strong emergence collapse?Umut Baysan & Jessica Wilson - 2017 - Philosophica 91 (1):49--104.
Groups and Oppression.Elanor Taylor - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (3):520-536.
The missing G.Erez Firt - 2020 - AI and Society 35 (4):995-1007.
Power Emergentism and the Collapse Problem.Elanor Taylor - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (2):302-318.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Strong and weak emergence.David J. Chalmers - 2006 - In Philip Clayton & Paul Davies (eds.), The re-emergence of emergence: the emergentist hypothesis from science to religion. New York: Oxford University Press.
Universals and scientific realism.David Malet Armstrong - 1978 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

View all 30 references / Add more references