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Durham Emergence Project


Strong Emergence


Francis (Olley) Pearson

Stefano Catelan

Project Description

Our general questions are ones already under investigation by the Emergence Project:

- [GQ1] How should strong emergence be understood?

- [GQ2] Might there be cases of strong emergence?

Strong emergence as an ontological thesis involves novelty in the world itself, namely the existence of new entities, such as properties or objects. Therefore, more specifically, we will ask:

- [SQ1] How should we understand statements of strong emergence in light of philosophical theories of existence?

- [SQ2] Might different theories of existence have different implications for the possibility of strong emergence?

In order to proportion our research to the time-scale of the fellowship, we will focus on the case of dispositional-monism, asking:

- [FQ1] Assuming dispositional-monism, how might we understand the existence statements that would be involved in claims of strong emergence?

- [FQ2] Could such a claim be true?