Citations of:
Add citations
You must login to add citations.


We have two main aims: to construct mathematical models for analysing determinism, causality and supervenience; and then to use these to demonstrate the possibility of constructing an ontic construal of the operation of free will  one requiring both the presentation of genuine alternatives to an agent and their selecting between them in a manner that permits the attribution of responsibility. Determinism is modelled using transtemporal ontic links between discrete juxtaposed universe states and shown to be distinct from predictability. Causality (...) 

It is proposed that we use the term “approximation” for inexact description of a target system and “idealization” for another system whose properties also provide an inexact description of the target system. Since systems generated by a limiting process can often have quite unexpected, even inconsistent properties, familiar limit systems used in statistical physics can fail to provide idealizations, but are merely approximations. A dominance argument suggests that the limiting idealizations of statistical physics should be demoted to approximations. 

Recent discussions of emergence in physics have focussed on the use of limiting relations, and often particularly on singular or asymptotic limits. We discuss a putative example of emergence that does not fit into this narrative: the case of phonons. These quasiparticles have some claim to be emergent, not least because the way in which they relate to the underlying crystal is almost precisely analogous to the way in which quantum particles relate to the underlying quantum field theory. But there (...) 

This paper analyses the antireductionist argument from renormalisation group explanations of universality, and shows how it can be rebutted if one assumes that the explanation in question is captured by the counterfactual dependence account of explanation. 

In this paper I develop a framework for relating dualities and emergence: two notions that are close to each other but also exclude one another. I adopt the conception of duality as 'isomorphism', from the physics literature, cashing it out in terms of three conditions. These three conditions prompt two conceptually different ways in which a duality can be modified to make room for emergence; and I argue that this exhausts the possibilities for combining dualities and emergence. I apply this (...) 

Theories of quantum gravity generically presuppose or predict that the reality underlying relativistic spacetimes they are describing is significantly nonspatiotemporal. On pain of empirical incoherence, approaches to quantum gravity must establish how relativistic spacetime emerges from their nonspatiotemporal structures. We argue that in order to secure this emergence, it is sufficient to establish that only those features of relativistic spacetimes functionally relevant in producing empirical evidence must be recovered. In order to complete this task, an account must be given of (...) 

Classical accounts of intertheoretic reduction involve two pieces: first, the new terms of the higherlevel theory must be definable from the terms of the lowerlevel theory, and second, the claims of the higherlevel theory must be deducible from the lowerlevel theory along with these definitions. The status of each of these pieces becomes controversial when the alleged reduction involves an infinite limit, as in statistical mechanics. Can one define features of or deduce the behavior of an infinite idealized system from (...) 

1. Approximations of arbitrarily large but finite systems are often mistaken for infinite idealizations in statistical and thermal physics. The problem is illustrated by thermodynamically reversible processes. They are approximations of processes requiring arbitrarily long, but finite times to complete, not processes requiring an actual infinity of time.2. The present debate over whether phase transitions comprise a failure of reduction is confounded by a confusion of two senses of “level”: the molecular versus the thermodynamic level and the few component versus (...) 

While the relation between visualization and scientific understanding has been a topic of longstanding discussion, recent developments in physics have pushed the boundaries of this debate to new and still unexplored realms. For it is claimed that, in certain theories of quantum gravity, spacetime ‘disappears’: and this suggests that one may have sensible physical theories in which spacetime is completely absent. This makes the philosophical question whether such theories are intelligible, even more pressing. And if such theories are intelligible, the (...) 

We discuss the hints for the disappearance of continuum space and time at microscopic scale. These include arguments for a discrete nature of them or for a fundamental nonlocality, in a quantum theory of gravity. We discuss how these ideas are realized in specific quantum gravity approaches. Turning then the problem around, we consider the emergence of continuum space and time from the collective behaviour of discrete, pregeometric atoms of quantum space, and for understanding spacetime as a kind of “condensate”, (...) 

This paper attempts a critical reappraisal of Nagel's (1961, 1970) model of reduction taking into account both traditional criticisms and recent defenses. This model treats reduction as a type of explanation in which a reduced theory is explained by a reducing theory after their relevant representational items have been suitably connected. In accordance with the deductivenomological model, the explanation is supposed to consist of a logical deduction. Nagel was a pluralist about both the logical form of the connections between the (...) 

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 (...) 

Currently, there are almost as many conceptions of emergence as authors who address the issue. Most literature on the matter focuses either on discussing, evaluating and comparing particular contributions or accounts of emergence, or on assessing a particular case study. Our aim in this paper is rather different. We here set out to introduce a distinction that has not been sufficiently taken into account in previous discussions on this topic: the distinction between interdomain emergence—a relation between items belonging to different (...) 

A conventional wisdom about the progress of physics holds that successive theories wholly encompass the domains of their predecessors through a process that is often called reduction. While certain influential accounts of intertheory reduction in physics take reduction to require a single "global" derivation of one theory's laws from those of another, I show that global reductions are not available in all cases where the conventional wisdom requires reduction to hold. However, I argue that a weaker "local" form of reduction, (...) 

In this introduction, we describe the rationale behind this special issue on Principles of Quantum Gravity. We explain what we mean by ‘principles’ and relate this to the various contributions. Finally, we draw out some general themes that can be found running throughout these contributions. 

Several modern accounts of explanation acknowledge the importance of abstraction and idealization for our explanatory practice. However, once we allow a role for abstraction, questions remain. I ask whether the relation between explanations at different theoretical levels should be thought of wholly in terms of abstraction, and argue that changes of the quantities in terms of which we describe a system can lead to novel explanations that are not merely abstractions of some more detailed picture. I use the example of (...) 

I argue that the need to understand spacetime structure as emergent in quantum gravity is less radical and surprising it might appear. A clear understanding of the link between general relativity's geometrical structures and empirical geometry reveals that this empirical geometry is exactly the kind of thing that could be an effective and emergent matter. Furthermore, any theory with torsion will involve an effective geometry, even though these theories look, at first glance, like theories with straightforward spacetime geometry. As it's (...) 

The framework of effective field theory is a natural one in which to understand the claim that the spacetime of general relativity is an emergent lowenergy phenomenon. I argue for a pragmatic understanding of EFT, given that the appropriate conception of emergence it suggests is necessarily epistemological in a sense. Analogue models of spacetime are examples of the topdown approach to EFT. They offer concrete illustrations of spacetime emergent within an EFT, and lure us toward a strong analogy between condensed (...) 



The sciences occasionally generate discoveries that undermine their own assumptions. Two such discoveries are characterized here: the discovery of apophenia by cognitive psychology and the discovery that physical systems cannot be locally bounded within quantum theory. It is shown that such discoveries have a common structure and that this common structure is an instance of Priest’s wellknown Inclosure Schema. This demonstrates that science itself is dialetheic: it generates limit paradoxes. How science proceeds despite this fact is briefly discussed, as is (...) 

The principle of mass additivity states that the mass of a composite object is the sum of the masses of its elementary components. Mass additivity is true in Newtonian mechanics but false in special relativity. Physicists have explained why mass additivity is true in Newtonian mechanics by reducing it to Newton’s microphysical laws. This reductive explanation does not fit well with deducibility theories of reductive explanation such as the modern Nagelian theory of reduction, and the a priori entailment theory of (...) 

'Holographic' relations between theories have become a main theme in quantum gravity research. These relations entail that a theory without gravity is equivalent to a gravitational theory with an extra spatial dimension. The idea of holography was first proposed in 1993 by Gerard 't Hooft on the basis of his studies of evaporating black holes. Soon afterwards the holographic 'AdS/CFT' duality was introduced, which since has been heavily studied in the string theory community and beyond. Recently, Erik Verlinde has proposed (...) 

We consider processes of emergence within the conceptual framework of the Information Loss principle and the concepts of systems conserving information; systems compressing information; and systems amplifying information. We deal with the supposed incompatibility between emergence and computability toutcourt. We distinguish between computational emergence, when computation acquires properties, and emergent computation, when computation emerges as a property. The focus is on emergence processes occurring within computational processes. Violations of Turingcomputability such as nonexplicitness and incompleteness are intended to represent partially the (...) 

In recent years, many philosophers of science have attempted to articulate a theory of nonepistemic emergence that is compatible with mechanistic explanation and incompatible with reductionism. The 2005 account of Fred C. Boogerd et al. has been particularly influential. They argued that a systemic property was emergent if it could not be predicted from the behaviour of less complex systems. Here, I argue that Boogerd et al.'s attempt to ground emergence in complexity guarantees that we will see emergence, but at (...) 

An effective theory in physics is one that is supposed to apply only at a given length scale; the framework of effective field theory describes a ‘tower’ of theories each applying at different length scales, where each ‘level’ up is a shorterscale theory. Owing to subtlety regarding the use and necessity of EFTs, a conception of emergence defined in terms of reduction is irrelevant. I present a case for decoupling emergence and reduction in the philosophy of physics. This paper develops (...) 



Recent decades have seen a revived interest in supersubstantivalism, the idea that spacetime is the only fundamental substance and matter some kind of aspect, property or consequence of spacetime structure. However, the metaphysical debate so far has misidentified a particular variant of supersubstantivalism with the position per se. I distinguish between a supersubstantival core commitment and different ways of fleshing it out. I then investigate how general relativity and alternative spacetime theories square with the different variants of supersubstantivalism. 

This is a nontechnical overview of how various approaches to quantum gravity suggest modifications to the way we conceptualize space and time. A theory of quantum gravity is needed to reconcile quantum physics with general relativity, our best theory for gravity. The most popular approaches to quantum gravity are string theory and loop quantum gravity. So far, no approach has been empirically successful, and there is no commonly accepted theory. Thus, the conclusions presented here are tentative. Many approaches suggest that (...) 

This paper sets out some new skeleton mathematicallycouched models for dealing with supervenience in some, if not all, its many guises. Our models are based around a naïve invocation of a ‘topology’ induced on object sets by property sets. We have two aims: one is to provide an overview of supervenience with enough rigour and detail to act as a selfcontained introduction to the subject; and the other is to set out our new approach—but without getting too bogged down in (...) 

Relationships between current theories, and relationships between current theories and the sought theory of quantum gravity (QG), play an essential role in motivating the need for QG, aiding the search for QG, and defining what would count as QG. Correspondence is the broad class of intertheory relationships intended to demonstrate the necessary compatibility of two theories whose domains of validity overlap, in the overlap regions. The variety of roles that correspondence plays in the search for QG are illustrated, using examples (...) 

Ruetsche claims that an abstract C*algebra of observables will not contain all of the physically significant observables for a quantum system with infinitely many degrees of freedom. This would signal that in addition to the abstract algebra, one must use Hilbert space representations for some purposes. I argue to the contrary that there is a way to recover all of the physically significant observables by purely algebraic methods. 1 Introduction2 Preliminaries3 Three Extremist Interpretations3.1 Algebraic imperialism3.2 Hilbert space conservatism3.3 Universalism4 Parochial (...) 

Emergence and reduction in context: Philosophy of science and/or analytic metaphysics Content Type Journal Article Category Survey Review Pages 116 DOI 10.1007/s1101601296714 Authors Michael Silberstein, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 14679981 Print ISSN 08150796. 