Is emergentism a naturalistic strategy to explain the psychophysical relation? My answer to this question is «it depends». In fact there are many forms of emergentism, and I intend to deal with these two versions: A-emergentism and B-emergentism. A-Emergentism accepts the «causal inheritance principle», according to which the new causal powers manifested at the emergent level are inherited from lower-level causal powers. B-Emergentism rejects it. So A-Emergentism can be seen as an attempt to fill the «explanatory gap» and it is compatible with naturalism, but unfortunately (I maintain) it cannot solve the ontological problems that motivated the introduction of the emergentist view of the psychophysical nexus. B-Emergentism satisfies our ontological problems, but it envisages at best a way to «jump over» the gap, without satisfying our naturalistic worries. This is a rather pessimistic result, but I shall mitigate it by means of a three-step strategy. (1) I present an apparent example of A-Emergentism (Shoemaker, 2002), based on the distinction between micro-manifest and micro-latent properties. (2) I argue that the micro-latent emergent properties can be properly individuated solely at the emergent level – a fact that gives to this form of emergentism some characteristics of B-Emergentism. (3) I propose to deduce from this fact an ontological consequence: the idea that ontological emergent levels have «more reality» than base levels. Therefore, if my re-reading of B-emergentism were acceptable, we may have an emergentist picture which satisfies our ontological and naturalistic worries.

Filling the gap, or jumping over it? Emergentism and naturalism

DI FRANCESCO M
2005

Abstract

Is emergentism a naturalistic strategy to explain the psychophysical relation? My answer to this question is «it depends». In fact there are many forms of emergentism, and I intend to deal with these two versions: A-emergentism and B-emergentism. A-Emergentism accepts the «causal inheritance principle», according to which the new causal powers manifested at the emergent level are inherited from lower-level causal powers. B-Emergentism rejects it. So A-Emergentism can be seen as an attempt to fill the «explanatory gap» and it is compatible with naturalism, but unfortunately (I maintain) it cannot solve the ontological problems that motivated the introduction of the emergentist view of the psychophysical nexus. B-Emergentism satisfies our ontological problems, but it envisages at best a way to «jump over» the gap, without satisfying our naturalistic worries. This is a rather pessimistic result, but I shall mitigate it by means of a three-step strategy. (1) I present an apparent example of A-Emergentism (Shoemaker, 2002), based on the distinction between micro-manifest and micro-latent properties. (2) I argue that the micro-latent emergent properties can be properly individuated solely at the emergent level – a fact that gives to this form of emergentism some characteristics of B-Emergentism. (3) I propose to deduce from this fact an ontological consequence: the idea that ontological emergent levels have «more reality» than base levels. Therefore, if my re-reading of B-emergentism were acceptable, we may have an emergentist picture which satisfies our ontological and naturalistic worries.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12076/395
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