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The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion

Philip Clayton and Paul Davies

Abstract

Much of the modern period was dominated by a ‘reductionist’ theory of science. On this view, to explain any event in the world is to reduce it down to fundamental particles, laws, and forces. In recent years reductionism has been dramatically challenged by a radically new paradigm called ‘emergence’. According to this new theory, natural history reveals the continuous emergence of novel phenomena: new structures and new organisms with new causal powers. Consciousness is yet one more emergent level in the natural hierarchy. Many theologians and religious scholars believe that this new paradigm ... More

Keywords: reductionism, emergence, consciousness, natural history, God, emergence theory, nature of God

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780199544318
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199544318.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Philip Clayton, editor
Ingraham Professor, Claremont School of Theology; Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Claremont Graduate University
Author Webpage

Paul Davies, editor
Professor of Natural Philosophy, Australian Centre for Astrobiology, Macquarie University, Sydney