A Clear and Understood Case of Strong Emergence

Biosemiotics 10 (1):5-7 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This Letter to the Editor is a comment on a paper by Rodríguez Higuera (Biosemiotics 9, 155–167, 2016) that refers to a paper by van Hateren (Biosemiotics 8, 403–419, 2015). The comment argues that semiosis (i.e., the making of meaning) has biological roots in an internal process X occurring within all forms of life. This internal process produces, in effect, an approximation (i.e., an estimate) of the fitness of an organism. X subsequently drives a purely stochastic process of structural change within the organism. This results in primordial forms of semiosos, agency, and aboutness. It is argued that the way this is produced should be regarded as a form of strong emergence, because it results in novel causal powers that are not equivalent to the combined causal powers of the composing parts of the system.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,592

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

Reduction, Emergence, and Renormalization.Jeremy Butterfield - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (1):5-49.
A new look at emergence. Or when after is different.Alexandre Guay & Olivier Sartenaer - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (2):297-322.
Mind and Emergence: From Quantum to Consciousness.Philip Clayton - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press UK.
Is consciousness really a brain process?Eric Larock - 2008 - International Philosophical Quarterly 48 (2):201-229.
Strong Emergence and Freedom: Comment on A. Stephan.Max Kistler - 2010 - In Graham Macdonald & Cynthia Macdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 240--251.
Collapsing Emergence.Elanor Taylor - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):732-753.
Response to R. Keith Sawyer.Jens Greve - 2013 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 43 (2):246-256.
Metaphysical emergence: Weak and Strong.Jessica Wilson - 2015 - In Tomasz Bigaj & Christian Wüthrich (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities. pp. 251-306.
Strong reciprocity and the emergence of large-scale societies.Benoît Dubreuil - 2008 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (2):192-210.


Added to PP

38 (#349,158)

6 months
3 (#343,082)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

J. H. van Hateren
University of Groningen

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Weak emergence: Causation and emergence.Ma Bedau - 1997 - Philosophical Perspectives 11:375-399.
The Theory of Meaning.Jakob von Uexküll - 1982 - Semiotica 42 (1).

Add more references