The Metaphysics of Emergence

The Metaphysics of Emergence

English | 2015 | ISBN-10: 1137502371 | 345 Pages | pdf | 2.4 MB

Everything in the Universe has emerged, in some sense, since the Big Bang. But the concept of emergence is problematic and controversial. The Metaphysics of Emergence contends that the contemporary philosophical debates are vitiated by the persistence of the traditional assumption that what primarily exists are particular entities: things. Instead it presents a sustained argument for recognizing generic processes as primary.

This radical alternative finds support from interpreting the sub-atomic 'particles' of contemporary physics as nodes in a quantum field, and resolves long-standing problems of explaining identity over time. Campbell then proceeds to develop a metaphysical taxonomy of emergent entities, showing how all biological creatures maintain themselves by changing their interaction with their environments. This approach enables a fruitful account of emergence, and provides reasons to reject the widespread view that reality is determined by its physical basis. The book concludes with a discussion of human mentality, values, and freedom.

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