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Emergence and Fundamentality

Mind 121 (484):873-901 (2012)

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  1. The Fundamentality of Fundamental Powers.Joaquim Giannotti - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (4):589-613.
    Dispositional essentialism is the view that all or many fundamental properties are essentially dispositional, or powers. The literature on the dispositional essence of powers is abundant. In contrast, the question of how to understand the fundamentality of fundamental powers has received scarce interest. Therefore, the fundamentality of powers stands in need of clarification. There are four main conceptions of the fundamental, namely as that which is metaphysically independent; or belonging to a minimally complete basis; or perfectly natural; or metaphysically primitive. (...)
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  • A Dilemma for Russellian Monists About Consciousness.Adam Pautz - 2015
    I develop a new argument against Russellian Monism about consciousness.
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  • The Deflationary Theory of Ontological Dependence.David Mark Kovacs - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):481-502.
    When an entity ontologically depends on another entity, the former ‘presupposes’ or ‘requires’ the latter in some metaphysical sense. This paper defends a novel view, Dependence Deflationism, according to which ontological dependence is what I call an aggregative cluster concept: a concept which can be understood, but not fully analysed, as a ‘weighted total’ of constructive and modal relations. The view has several benefits: it accounts for clear cases of ontological dependence as well as the source of disagreement in controversial (...)
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  • Demystifying Emergence.David Yates - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3:809-841.
    Are the special sciences autonomous from physics? Those who say they are need to explain how dependent special science properties could feature in irreducible causal explanations, but that’s no easy task. The demands of a broadly physicalist worldview require that such properties are not only dependent on the physical, but also physically realized. Realized properties are derivative, so it’s natural to suppose that they have derivative causal powers. Correspondingly, philosophical orthodoxy has it that if we want special science properties to (...)
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  • Panentheism, Panpsychism and Neuroscience : In Search of an Alternative Metaphysical Framework in Relation to Neuroscience, Consciousness, Free Will, and Theistic Beliefs.Oliver Li - unknown
    This thesis philosophically examines, critically discusses, and proposes how a plausible philosophical framework of consciousness and free will should be formulated. This framework takes into account contemporary scientific research on human consciousness and free will and its possible challenges; also it is examined how this framework should be related to theistic beliefs – especially those connected to human and divine consciousness and free will. First, an overview of important research within the natural sciences about the conscious mind is presented together (...)
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  • Grounding Theories of Powers.Matthew Tugby - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):11187-11216.
    Necessitarianism, as we shall use the term, is the view that natural properties and causal powers are necessarily connected in some way. In recent decades the most popular forms of necessitarianism have been the anti-Humean powers-based theories of properties, such as dispositional essentialism and the identity theory. These versions of necessitarianism have come under fire in recent years and I believe it is time for necessitarians to develop a new approach. In this paper I identify unexplored ways of positing metaphysically (...)
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  • What Work the Fundamental?Ricki Bliss - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):359-379.
    Although it is very often taken for granted that there is something fundamental, the literature appears to have developed with little to no careful consideration of what exactly it is that the fundamentalia are supposed to do. If we are to have a good reason to believe that there is something fundamental, we need not only to know what exactly it is that the fundamentalia are invoked for, but why it is that nothing else is available for the task to (...)
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  • Emergence, Function and Realization.Umut Baysan - 2019 - In Sophie Gibb, Robin Hendry & Tom Lancaster (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Emergence. London: Routledge.
    “Realization” and “emergence” are two concepts that are sometimes used to describe same or similar phenomena in philosophy of mind and the special sciences, where such phenomena involve the synchronic dependence of some higher-level states of affairs on the lower-level ones. According to a popular line of thought, higher-level properties that are invoked in the special sciences are realized by, and/or emergent from, lower-level, broadly physical, properties. So, these two concepts are taken to refer to relations between properties from different (...)
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  • Powers, Processes, and Time.Giacomo Giannini - 2021 - Erkenntnis:1-25.
    In this paper I argue that even the most radical metaphysics of powers (such as that adopted by Mumford & Anjum, Cartwright, or Groff) are compatible with eternalism. I first offer a taxonomy of powers ontologies, and attempt to characterise the difference between moderate and radical powers ontologies – the latter are characterised by an emphasis on production and dynamicity. I consider an argument by C. Friebe to the effect that the productive character of powers is inconsistent with Eternalism and (...)
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  • Structuring Reality.Naomi Margaret Claire Thompson - unknown
    This thesis explores attempts to characterise the structure of reality. Three notions stand out: Lewisian naturalness, Sider’s ‘structure’, and grounding, where the latter has become the most popular way to characterise the structure of reality in the contemporary literature. I argue that none of these notions, as they are currently understood, are suited for limning the metaphysical structure of reality. In the first part of the thesis I argue that, by the lights of the relevant theories, both naturalness and structure (...)
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  • Realization and Causal Powers.Umut Baysan - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    In this thesis, I argue that physicalism should be understood to be the view that mental properties are realized by physical properties. In doing this, I explore what the realization relation might be. Since realization is the relation that should help us formulate physicalism, I suggest that the theoretical role of realization consists in explaining some of the things that physicalists wish to explain. These are: How are mental properties metaphysically necessitated by physical properties? How are mental properties causally efficacious? (...)
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  • Between Scientism and Abstractionism in the Metaphysics of Emergence.Jessica Wilson - 2019 - In Sophie Gibb, Robin Hendry & Tom Lancaster (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Emergence. Oxford: Routledge. pp. 157-176.
    I discuss certain representative accounts of metaphysical emergence falling into three broad categories, assessing their prospects for satisfying certain criteria; the ensuing dialectic has a bit of the Goldilocks fable about it. At one end of the spectrum are what I call ‘scientistic’ accounts, which characterize metaphysical emergence by appeal to one or another specific feature commonly registered in scientific descriptions of seeming cases of emergence; such accounts, I argue, typically fail to provide a clear basis for ensuring incompatibility with (...)
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  • The Essences of Fundamental Properties.Jennifer Wang - 2019 - Metaphysics 2 (1):40-54.
    There is a puzzle concerning the essences of fundamental entities that arises from considerations about essence, on one hand, and fundamentality, on the other. The Essence-Dependence Link (EDL) says that if x figures in the essence of y, then y is dependent upon x. EDL is prima facie plausible in many cases, especially those involving derivative entities. But consider the property negative charge. A negatively charged object exhibits certain behaviors that a positively charged object does not: it moves away from (...)
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  • Only Explanation Can Reinflate Emergence.Elanor Taylor - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly (271):385-394.
    In a recent exchange in this journal, I argue that accounts of emergence face the collapse problem, and I defend an explanatory approach to emergence as a solution to this problem. Alexander Skiles objects to my account, and proposes an alternative solution to the collapse problem. In this discussion note I take up this conversation, defending the explanatory account of emergence against Skiles’ critique, and arguing that his alternative approach fails to solve the collapse problem.
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  • Formulating Emergence.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2018 - Ratio 31 (S1):1-18.
    Emergence is intuitively characterized as dependent novelty. Yet, besides this intuition, several formulations of it were elaborated in the last decades. In this article, after having distinguished between two different varieties of emergence, I aim at providing two formulation schemes for emergence. This could help to explain what emergence is and to clarify and unify the suggested formulations. The general idea behind my schemes is that emergence is partial and qualified dependence of the emergent entities on their emergence bases. After (...)
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  • Humeanism, Best System Laws, and Emergence.Olivier Sartenaer - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (4):719-738.
    In the current article and contrary to a widespread assumption, I argue that Humeanism and ontological emergence can peacefully coexist. Such a coexistence can be established by reviving elements of John Stuart Mill’s philosophy of science, in which an idiosyncratic account of diachronic emergence is associated with extensions of the Humean mosaic and the correlative coming into being of new best system laws, which have the peculiarity of being temporally indexed. Incidentally, this reconciliation of Humeanism and emergence allows for conceiving (...)
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  • Mereological Nihilism and the Problem of Emergence.David Michael Cornell - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (1):77-87.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that there are no composite objects; everything in existence is mereologically simple. The view is subject to a number of difficulties, one of which concerns what I call the problem of emergence. Very briefly, the problem is that nihilism seems to be incompatible with emergent properties; it seems to rule out their very possibility. This is a problem because there are good independent reasons to believe that emergent properties are possible. This paper provides a solution (...)
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  • Realism and Objectivity.Billy Dunaway - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 135-150.
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  • Fundamentality And Modal Freedom.Jennifer Wang - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):397-418.
    A fundamental entity is an entity that is ‘ontologically independent’; it does not depend on anything else for its existence or essence. It seems to follow that a fundamental entity is ‘modally free’ in some sense. This assumption, that fundamentality entails modal freedom (or ‘FEMF’ as I shall label the thesis), is used in the service of other arguments in metaphysics. But as I will argue, the road from fundamentality to modal freedom is not so straightforward. The defender of FEMF (...)
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  • Curbing Enthusiasm About Grounding.Jason Turner - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):366-396.
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  • Emergence for Nihilists.Richard L. J. Caves - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (1):2-28.
    I defend mereological nihilism, the view that there are no composite objects, against a challenge from ontological emergence, the view that some things have properties that are ‘something over and above’ the properties of their parts. As the nihilist does not believe in composite wholes, there is nothing in the nihilist's ontology to instantiate emergent properties – or so the challenge goes. However, I argue that some simples can collectively instantiate an emergent property, so the nihilist's ontology can in fact (...)
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  • Constitution and Dependence.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (3):150-177.
    Constitution is the relation that holds between an object and what it is made of: statues are constituted by the lumps of matter they coincide with; flags, one may think, are constituted by colored pieces of cloth; and perhaps human persons are constituted by biological organisms. Constitution is often thought to be a.
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  • Epistemic Perceptualism and Neo-Sentimentalist Objections.Robert Cowan - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):59-81.
    Epistemic Perceptualists claim that emotions are sources of immediate defeasible justification for evaluative propositions that can sometimes ground undefeated immediately justified evaluative beliefs. For example, fear can constitute the justificatory ground for a belief that some object or event is dangerous. Despite its attractiveness, the view is apparently vulnerable to several objections. In this paper, I provide a limited defence of Epistemic Perceptualism by responding to a family of objections which all take as a premise a popular and attractive view (...)
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  • Dependencia ontológica y fundamentalidad.Ricardo Mena - 2018 - Ideas Y Valores 67 (166):115-134.
    Se examina una de las maneras más naturales e intuitivas de entender las nociones de entidad fundamental y dependencia ontológica. Se argumenta que quienes adoptan estas nociones enfrentan serios problemas y se recomienda abandonarlas, lo que no quiere decir que no haya otra forma plausible de entender estos conceptos.
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  • Fundamentality Without Foundations.Michael J. Raven - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):607-626.
    A commonly held view is that a central aim of metaphysics is to give a fundamental account of reality which refers only to the fundamental entities. But a puzzle arises. It is at least a working hypothesis for those pursuing the aim that, first, there must be fundamental entities. But, second, it also seems possible that the world has no foundation, with each entity depending on others. These two claims are inconsistent with the widely held third claim that the fundamental (...)
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  • Fundamentality in Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Physics. Part I: Metaphysics.Matteo Morganti - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (7).
    This is the first part of a two-tier overview article on fundamentality in metaphysics and the philosophy of physics. It provides an introduction to the notion of fundamentality in metaphysics, as well as to several related concepts. The key issues in the contemporary debate on the topic are summarised, making systematic reference to the most relevant literature. In particular, various ways in which the fundamental entities and the fundamental structure of reality may be conceived are illustrated and discussed. A final (...)
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  • No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
    It has recently been suggested that a distinctive metaphysical relation— ‘Grounding’—is ultimately at issue in contexts in which some goings-on are said to hold ‘in virtue of’’, be ‘metaphysically dependent on’, or be ‘nothing over and above’ some others. Grounding is supposed to do good work in illuminating metaphysical dependence. I argue that Grounding is also unsuited to do this work. To start, Grounding alone cannot do this work, for bare claims of Grounding leave open such basic questions as whether (...)
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  • Quantum Holism.Elizabeth Miller - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (9):507-514.
    Quantum mechanics allegedly supports a holistic metaphysical moral: it is not the case that the intrinsic characters of all entangled wholes supervene on intrinsic properties and spatiotemporal arrangements of proper parts. According to one influential line of reasoning, such holistic supervenience failure follows more or less directly from quantum theory itself. One advertised consequence is the defeat of a natural, broadly reductive worldview commonly linked to Lewis's philosophical doctrine of Humean supervenience. However, the situation is more complicated, in both this (...)
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  • Groups and Oppression.Elanor Taylor - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (3):520-536.
    Oppression is a form of injustice that occurs when one social group is subordinated while another is privileged, and oppression is maintained by a variety of different mechanisms including social norms, stereotypes, and institutional rules. A key feature of oppression is that it is perpetrated by and affects social groups. In this article I show that because of the central role that groups play in theories of oppression, those theories face significant, and heretofore mostly unrecognized, metaphysical problems. I then identify (...)
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  • Mereological Nominalism.Nikk Effingham - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):160-185.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Flat Emergence.Olivier Sartenaer - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):225-250.
    The main contention of this article is that current approaches to ontological emergence are not comprehensive, in that they share a common bias that make them blind to some conceptual space available to emergence. In this article, I devise an alternative perspective on ontological emergence called ‘flat emergence’, which is free of such a bias. The motivation is twofold: not only does flat emergence constitute another viable way to fulfill the initial emergentist promise, but it also allows for making sense (...)
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  • Ontic Structural Realism.Kerry McKenzie - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (4):e12399.
    Ontic structural realism is at its core the view that “structure is ontologically fundamental.” Informed from its inception by the scientific revolutions that punctuated the 20th century, its advocates often present the position as the perspective on ontology best befitting of modern physics. But the idea that structure is fundamental has proved difficult to articulate adequately, and what OSR's claimed naturalistic credentials consist in is hard to precisify as well. Nor is it clear that the position is actually supported by (...)
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  • Supervenience Arguments and Normative Non‐Naturalism.Billy Dunaway - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):627-655.
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  • Back to the Question of Ontology.Jonas Rafael Becker Arenhart & Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo - 2021 - Manuscrito 44 (2):1-51.
    We articulate a distinction between ontology, understood as involving existence questions, and metaphysics, understood as either providing for metaphysical profiles of entities or else as dealing with fundamentality and/or grounding and dependence questions. The distinction, we argue, allows a better understanding of the roles of metaontology and metametaphysics when it comes to discussing the relations between ontology and science on the one hand, and metaphysics and science on the other. We argue that while ontology, as understood in this paper, may (...)
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  • Emerging Into the Rainforest: Emergence and Special Science Ontology.Alexander Franklin & Katie Robertson - unknown
    Many philosophers of science are ontologically committed to a lush rainforest of special science entities ), but are often reticent about the criteria that determine which entities count as real. On the other hand, the metaphysics literature is much more forthcoming about such criteria, but often links ontological commitment to irreducibility. We argue that the irreducibility criteria are in tension with scientific realism: for example, they would exclude viruses, which are plausibly theoretically reducible and yet play a sufficiently important role (...)
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  • New Powers for Dispositionalism.Giacomo Giannini - 2020 - Synthese (ST: New Foundations for Disposit):1-30.
    Establishing Dispositionalism as a viable theory of modality requires the successful fulfilment of two tasks: showing that all modal truths can be derived from truths about actual powers, and offering a suitable metaphysics of powers. These two tasks are intertwined: difficulties in one can affect the chances of success in the other. In this paper, I generalise an objection to Dispositionalism by Jessica Leech and argue that the theory in its present form is ill-suited to account for de re truths (...)
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  • Fundamentality.Steven French - forthcoming - In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics.
    The idea that there is some fundamental “level” or “ground” where our description of the world bottoms out has acquired the status of ‘the received view’ in metaphysics ; for a more recent critical defense, see Cameron, 2008). Typically this view is cashed out in terms of some set of ‘basic building blocks’ populating this level, which sits at the bottom of a hierarchy ordered according to some set of compositional principles. These fundamental building blocks are thus taken to have (...)
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  • Emergence Within Social Systems.Kenneth Silver - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7865-7887.
    Emergence is typically discussed in the context of mental properties or the properties of the natural sciences, and accounts of emergence within these contexts tend to look a certain way. The emergent property is taken to emerge instantaneously out of, or to be proximately caused by, complex interaction of colocated entities. Here, however, I focus on the properties instantiated by the elements of certain systems discussed in social ontology, such as being a five-dollar bill or a pawn-movement, and I suggest (...)
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  • Quantum Indeterminacy and the Double-Slit Experiment.Claudio Calosi & Jessica Wilson - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 1:1-27.
    In Calosi and Wilson (Phil Studies 2019/2018), we argue that on many interpretations of quantum mechanics (QM), there is quantum mechanical indeterminacy (QMI), and that a determinable-based account of metaphysical indeterminacy (MI), as per Wilson 2013 and 2016, properly accommodates the full range of cases of QMI. Here we argue that this approach is superior to other treatments of QMI on offer, both realistic and deflationary, in providing the basis for an intelligible explanation of the interference patterns in the double-slit (...)
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  • Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Ontological dependence is a relation—or, more accurately, a family of relations—between entities or beings. For there are various ways in which one being may be said to depend upon one or more other beings, in a sense of “depend” that is distinctly metaphysical in character and that may be contrasted, thus, with various causal senses of this word. More specifically, a being may be said to depend, in such a sense, upon one or more other beings for its existence or (...)
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  • Monism.Jonathan Schaffer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This entry focuses on two of the more historically important monisms: existence monism and priority monism . Existence monism targets concrete objects and counts by tokens. This is the doctrine that exactly one concrete object exists. Priority monism also targets concrete objects, but counts by basic tokens. This is the doctrine that exactly one concrete object is basic, which will turn out to be the classical doctrine that the whole is prior to its parts.
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  • The Nomological Account of Ground.Tobias Wilsch - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3293-3312.
    The article introduces and defends the Nomological Account of ground, a reductive account of the notion of metaphysical explanation in terms of the laws of metaphysics. The paper presents three desiderata that a theory of ground should meet: it should explain the modal force of ground, the generality of ground, and the interplay between ground and certain mereological notions. The bulk of the paper develops the Nomological Account and argues that it meets the three desiderata. The Nomological Account relies on (...)
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  • Quantum indeterminacy and the double-slit experiment.Claudio Calosi & Jessica Wilson - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3291-3317.
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  • Why Ockham’s Razor Should Be Preferred to the Laser.Dean Da Vee - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3679-3694.
    Ockham’s Razor advises us to not multiply entities without necessity. Recently, Jonathan Schaffer and Karen Bennett have argued that we ought to replace Ockham’s Razor with the Laser, the principle that only advises us to not multiply fundamental entities without necessity. In this paper, I argue that Ockham’s Razor is preferable to the Laser. I begin by contending that the arguments offered for the Laser by Schaffer and Bennett are unpersuasive. Then I offer two cases of theory assessment that I (...)
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  • Fundamental Truthmakers and Non-Fundamental Truths.Arthur Schipper - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3073-3098.
    Recently, philosophers have tried to develop a version of truthmaker theory which ties the truthmaking relation closely to the notion of fundamentality. In fact, some of these truthmaker-fundamentalists, as I call them, assume that the notion of fundamentality is intelligible in part by citing, as central examples of fundamentals, truthmakers, which they understand necessarily as constituents of fundamental reality. The aim of this paper is first to bring some order and clarity to this discussion, sketching how far TF is compatible (...)
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  • Emergence, Dependence, and Fundamentality.Olley Pearson - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (3):391-402.
    In a recent paper Barnes proposes to characterize ontological emergence by identifying the emergent entities with those entities which are both fundamental and dependent. Barnes offers characterizations of the notions of fundamentality and dependence, but is cautious about committing to the specifics of these notions. This paper argues that Barnes’s characterization of emergence is problematic in several ways. Firstly, emergence is a relation, and merely delimiting relata of this relation tells us little about it. Secondly, the group of entities delimited (...)
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  • Metaphysical Emergence: Weak and Strong.Jessica Wilson - 2015 - In Tomasz Bigaj & Christian Wuthrich (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities. pp. 251-306.
    Motivated by the seeming structure of the sciences, metaphysical emergence combines broadly synchronic dependence coupled with some degree of ontological and causal autonomy. Reflecting the diverse, frequently incompatible interpretations of the notions of dependence and autonomy, however, accounts of emergence diverge into a bewildering variety. Here I argue that much of this apparent diversity is superficial. I first argue, by attention to the problem of higher-level causation, that two and only two strategies for addressing this problem accommodate the genuine emergence (...)
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  • Do We Need Grounding?Ross P. Cameron - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):382-397.
    Many have been tempted to invoke a primitive notion of grounding to describe the way in which some features of reality give rise to others. Jessica Wilson argues that such a notion is unnecessary to describe the structure of the world: that we can make do with specific dependence relations such as the part–whole relation or the determinate–determinable relation, together with a notion of absolute fundamentality. In this paper I argue that such resources are inadequate to describe the particular ways (...)
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  • Truthmaking.Kelly Trogdon - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. Routledge. pp. 396-407.
    Discussion of grounding-theoretic accounts of truthmaking in terms of the theoretical role of “catching cheaters”.
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  • Normativity All the Way Down: From Normative Realism to Pannormism.Einar Duenger Bohn - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):4107-4124.
    In this paper, I provide an argument for pannormism, the view according to which there are normative properties all the way down. In particular, I argue for what I call the trickling down principle, which says that if there is a metaphysically basic normative property, then, if whatever instantiates it has a ground, that ground instantiates it as well.
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