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The category of emergence has come to be of considerable importance to the science-and-religion dialogue. It has become clear that the term is used in different ways by different authors, with important implications. In this article I examine the criteria used to state that something is emergent and the different interpretations of those criteria. In particular, I argue similarly to Philip Clayton that there are three broad ranges of interpretation of emergence: reductive, nonreductive, and radical. Although all three criteria have their place, I suggest that the category of radical emergence is important both for science and theology.

Keywords: emergence; nonreductive physicalism; reductionism; supervenience; top-down causation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9744.2005.00769.x

Affiliations: Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Program Coordinator of the Philosophy and Religion Department at South Dakota State University, Box 504 Scobey 336, Brookings, SD 57007;, Email: greg.peterson@sdstate.edu.

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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