Rethinking Emergence

October 17, 2019

Lisbon Emergence Workshop
17-19 October 2019 | Room 5.2 (School of Arts and Humanities – University of Lisbon)

Positive characterisations of emergence tend to focus on the causal or qualitative novelty of dependent properties in relation to the physical states upon which they depend. Metaphysicians attempting to make sense of emergence have traditionally concluded that there are certain kinds of novelty—particularly novel causal powers—that would rule out physical realization, and more generally, any kind of physical grounding. For this reason, strong emergence has been viewed with suspicion. Recently, however, the orthodoxy according to which strong emergence and realization are incompatible has come under pressure from a range of sources. Philosophers of physics and biology, for instance, draw attention to case studies in which it seems we get strong kinds of dependent novelty or autonomy without ruling out physical grounding. Within metaphysics too there is renewed interest in the development of ways of making sense of dependent novelty without the mystery of traditional strong emergence, for instance neo-Aristotelian theories that focus on the roles of structure and form. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together leading experts on emergence, from the philosophy of the physical sciences, and both ancient and contemporary metaphysics, to explore old and new perspectives on the relationship between emergence, realization and novelty.

Registration is free. If you wish to attend, please contact me no later than September 30 2019 to confirm.

 

Programme

Thursday 17th October
10:00—10:30 Coffee
10:30—11:45 Paul Humphreys (Virginia) ‘Can transformational emergence produce a change in the laws of nature (or vice versa)?’
11:45—12:15 Coffee
12:15—13:30 Jessica Wilson (Toronto) ‘On the notion of diachronic emergence’
13:30—15:00 Lunch
15:00—16:15 Carl Gillett (Illinois) ‘Compositional explanations and mutualist models in scientific emergentism: an integrative pluralist account’
16:15—16:45 Coffee
16:45—18:00 Benj Hellie ‘From emergentism to expressivism’

 

Friday 18th October
10:00—10:30 Coffee
10:30—11:45 Sandra Mitchell (Pittsburgh) ‘Challenges for a bottom-up approach to the reality of emergent phenomena’
11:45—12:15 Coffee
12:15—13:30 Michael Silberstein (Elizabethtown) ‘Contextual emergence in complex biological systems’
13:30—15:00 Lunch
15:00—16:15 Robin Hendry (Durham) ‘Reduction and emergence: where is the evidence?’
16:15—16:45 Coffee
16:45—18:00 Eleanor Knox (KCL) ‘Functionalism and (spacetime) emergence’

 

Saturday 19th October
10:00—10:30 Coffee
10:30—11:45 Anna Marmodoro (Durham) ‘The Emergence of Emergence’
11:45—12:15 Coffee
12:15—13:30 William Jaworski (Fordham) ‘Hylomorphic emergence’
13:30—15:00 Lunch
15:00—16:15 Alastair Wilson (Birmingham) ‘Emergence as higher-level naturalness’

Organizer

David Yates