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Emergence, Neither 'True' Nor 'Brute'

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Abstract:

As part of his defence of panpsychism, Strawson introduces the notion of 'brute' emergence, and hints at a contrasting notion of 'true' emergence. Panpsychism is true not least because brute emergence is incoherent. The alternative relation of true emergence is coherent and congruent with panpsychism. Strawson's distinction suggests that panpsychists endorse true (but not brute) emergence, while emergentists endorse brute (but not true) emergence. I show that this yields a false dichotomy, which wrongly associates traditional emergentism with an implausible notion of emergence. I clarify the nature and purpose of true and brute emergence, and I argue that traditional emergentists should reject both of them.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: p.wyss@open.ac.uk

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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