Cosmic Hermeneutics vs. Emergence: The Challenge of the Explanatory Gap

In Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Macdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 22-34 (2010)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
This chapter defends Terence Horgan's claim that any genuinely physicalist position must distinguish itself from (what has been traditionally known as) emergentism. It argues that physicalism is necessarily reductive in character — it must either give a reductive account of apparently non‐physical entities, or a reductive explanation of why there are non‐physical entities. It contends that many recent ‘non‐reductive’ physicalists do not do this, and that because of this they cannot adequately distinguish their view from emergentism. The conclusion is that this is the real challenge posed by Joseph Levine's ‘explanatory gap’ argument: if physicalists cannot close the explanatory gap in Levine's preferred way, they must find some other way to do it. Otherwise their view is indistinguishable from emergentism.
Reprint years
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2016-09-26
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
625 ( #9,177 of 2,448,995 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #17,211 of 2,448,995 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.