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EmergenceA Philosophical Account$
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Paul Humphreys

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190620325

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190620325.001.0001

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Ontological Emergence

Ontological Emergence

(p.56) 2 Ontological Emergence

Paul Humphreys

Oxford University Press

A new theory of diachronic ontological emergence called transformational emergence is constructed, and its relations with the author’s previous account of fusion emergence are described. They are both shown to satisfy three of the four criteria for emergence. The author shows how problems with existing accounts of synchronic emergence do not apply to transformational emergence. The account is motivated by a simple example from sociology and a more sophisticated example from the Standard Model in physics is given. The distinction between synchronic fundamentality and diachronic fundamentality is explained. Possible objections to fusion emergence are canvassed and shown to fail, the inverse process of defusion is explained, and additional examples, including covalent bonding, are given. It is suggested that a property interaction account of laws is the only feasible option for diachronic emergence.

Keywords:   transformational emergence, fusion emergence, defusion, methodological individualism, covalent bonding, entanglement, dianchronic emergence, laws of nature

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