Publication
Title
Pursuing natural piety : understanding ontological emergence and distinguishing it from physicalism
Author
Abstract
This paper focuses on two issues related to ontological emergence: whether it is a coherent notion, and its relation to the doctrine of physicalism. First, it is argued that ontological emergence is best understood as a thesis relying on three fundamental tenets claiming that emergents are basic, genuinely causal, and determined by the physical realm. The paper elucidates the roles of these tenets, and introduces an interpretation that is able to resolve any apparent contradiction between the tenets, thereby supporting the claim that the commitments of ontological emergence form a consistent view. The proposed understanding also hints that telling physicalism and emergentism apart is not a problem even if one subscribes to a supervenience-based formulation of physicalism. The difference in the modal strength of the supervenience relation physicalism and emergentism endorse readily distinguishes them - the former is committed to metaphysical determination whereas the latter to nomological determination. However, in a recent paper, Jessica Wilson has posed an objection to this way of differentiating physicalism from emergentism on the ground that the metaphysical/nomological distinction cannot be drawn in this context. The second part of this paper introduces Wilson's objection, and argues in detail that it fails to disqualify the modal strength-based distinction.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Dialectica: revue internationale de philosophie. - Bern
Publication
Bern : 2014
ISSN
0012-2017
Volume/pages
68:1(2014), p. 97-119
ISI
000334305700004
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Full text (publishers version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 06.06.2014
Last edited 17.05.2017
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