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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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Ancestors and Relatives

Ancestors and Relatives

(p.94) 3 Ancestors and Relatives

Paul Humphreys

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a historical perspective on transformational emergence. The views of John Stuart Mill and C. D. Broad on emergence are outlined, and a detailed examination of G. E. Moore’s analysis of internal and external relations is given. It is shown that a common emphasis on invariance runs through those positions and has reinforced the dominant generative atomism position. A comparison with David Lewis’s account of internal relations is given, an account that has distorted discussions of emergence. The use of levels of reality in emergence is discussed, and it is argued that levels should be abandoned in favor of domains. The existence of downward causation is discussed and the problems it creates from emergence are shown to be an artifact of synchronic approaches. An extensive examination of holism is provided and the concept is compared with contextualism and compositionality.

Keywords:   John Stuart Mill, C. D. Broad, G. E. Moore, internal relation, external relation, holism, compositionality, invariance, levels, downward causation

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