Author: Paul Humphreys
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-10-14
Interest in emergence amongst philosophers and scientists has grown in recent years, yet the concept continues to be viewed with skepticism by many. In this book, Paul Humphreys argues that many of the problems arise from a long philosophical tradition that is overly committed to synchronic reduction and has been overly focused on problems in philosophy of mind. He develops a novel account of diachronic ontological emergence called transformational emergence, shows that it is free of the problems raised against synchronic accounts, shows that there are plausible examples of transformational emergence within physics and chemistry, and argues that the central ideas fit into a well established historical tradition of emergence that includes John Stuart Mill, G.E. Moore, and C.D. Broad. The book also provides a comprehensive assessment of current theories of emergence and so can be used as a way into what is by now a very large literature on the topic. It places theories of emergence within a plausible classification, provides criteria for emergence, and argues that there is no single unifying account of emergence. Reevaluations of related topics in metaphysics are provided, including fundamentality, physicalism, holism, methodological individualism, and multiple realizability, among others. The relations between scientific and philosophical conceptions of emergence are assessed, with examples such as self-organization, ferromagnetism, cellular automata, and nonlinear systems being discussed. Although the book is written for professional philosophers, simple and intuitively accessible examples are used to illustrate the new concepts.
The concept of emergence has seen a significant resurgence in philosophy and the sciences, yet debates regarding emergentist and reductionist visions of the natural world continue to be hampered by imprecision or ambiguity. Emergent phenomena are said to arise out of and be sustained by more basic phenomena, while at the same time exerting a "top-down" control upon those very sustaining processes. To some critics, this has the air of magic, as it seems to suggest a kind of circular causality. Other critics deem the concept of emergence to be objectionably anti-naturalistic. Objections such as these have led many thinkers to construe emergent phenomena instead as coarse-grained patterns in the world that, while calling for distinctive concepts, do not "disrupt" the ordinary dynamics of the finer-grained (more fundamental) levels. Yet, reconciling emergence with a (presumed) pervasive causal continuity at the fundamental level can seem to deflate emergence of its initially profound significance. This basic problematic is mirrored by similar controversy over how best to characterize the opposite systematizing impulse, most commonly given an equally evocative but vague term, "reductionism." The original essays in this volume help to clarify the alternatives: inadequacies in some older formulations and arguments are exposed and new lines of argument on behalf the two visions are advanced.
Author: Christian Stegbauer
Release Date: 2010-11-17
Genre: Social Science
Das Buch bietet einen weitreichenden Überblick über Forschungs- und Theoriebereiche in der Netzwerkforschung. Neben einem einführenden Teil zur Geschichte der Netzwerkforschung, zum Selbstverständnis und zu den wichtigsten theoretischen Grundlagen werden Methoden der Netzwerkforschung behandelt. Das wachsende Paradigma wird in immer mehr wissenschaftlichen und anwendungsorientierten Disziplinen als erkenntnisleitendes Prinzip und als Methode eingesetzt. Ein Überblick über viele dieser Felder bildet einen weiteren Schwerpunkt. Das Buch wird ergänzt durch einen Serviceteil, in dem Lehrbücher vorgestellt werden. Das Handbuch wendet sich damit sowohl an Neueinsteiger in die Thematik als auch an Experten. Am Buch sind die wesentlichen Autorinnen und Autoren der deutschsprachigen Netzwerkforschung beteiligt.
Ziel dieses Buches ist die Formulierung und Rechtfertigung einer sozialtheoretischen Grundposition, die hier im Anschluss an eine Formulierung von Max Weber als reduktiver Individualismus bezeichnet wird. Diese Position besteht darin, „Arten des menschlichen Zusammenhandelns [...] auf »verständliches« Handeln und das heißt ausnahmslos: auf Handeln der beteiligten Einzelmenschen, zu reduzieren.“ Ein solches Programm steht im Widerspruch nicht nur zur holistischen Perspektive in der Tradition Emile Durkheims, sondern auch zur Systemtheorie, zu Ansätzen, welche kollektive Praktiken als sinn- und handlungsgenerierend verstehen, sowie zu einer wirkmächtigen Spielart des Individualismus selbst, dem Strukturindividualismus. All diesen Positionen gegenüber lässt sich der reduktive Individualismus als überzeugende Alternative ausweisen.
Author: Paul Humphreys
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-08-04
This handbook provides both an overview of state-of-the-art scholarship in philosophy of science, as well as a guide to new directions in the discipline. Section I contains broad overviews of the main lines of research and the state of established knowledge in six principal areas of the discipline, including computational, physical, biological, psychological and social sciences, as well as general philosophy of science. Section II covers what are considered to be the traditional topics in the philosophy of science, such as causation, probability, models, ethics and values, and explanation. Section III identifies new areas of investigation that show promise of becoming important areas of research, including the philosophy of astronomy and astrophysics, data, complexity theory, neuroscience, simulations, post-Kuhnian philosophy, post-empiricist epistemology, and emergence. Most chapters are accessible to scientifically educated non-philosophers as well as to professional philosophers, and the contributors - all leading researchers in their field -- bring diverse perspectives from the North American, European, and Australasian research communities. This volume is an essential resource for scholars and students.
For some, biology explains all there is to know about the mind. Yet many big questions remain: is the mind shaped by genes or the environment? If mental traits are the result of adaptations built up over thousands of years, as evolutionary psychologists claim, how can such claims be tested? If the mind is a machine, as biologists argue, how does it allow for something as complex as human consciousness? The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction explores these questions and more, using the philosophy of biology to introduce and assess the nature of the mind. Drawing on the four key themes of evolutionary biology; molecular biology and genetics; neuroscience; and biomedicine and psychiatry Justin Garson addresses the following key topics: moral psychology, altruism and levels of selection evolutionary psychology and modularity genes, environment and the nature-nurture debate neuroscience, reductionism and the relation between biology and free will function, selection and mental representation psychiatric classification and the maladapted mind. Extensive use of examples and case studies is made throughout the book, and additional features such as chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make this an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology. It will also be an excellent resource for those in related fields such as biology.
A strong and growing intuition in society today is the idea that our thoughts create our own reality. Yet it seems obvious that, try as we might, our lives are not quite what we fantasize. Is the intuition thus wrong? Through a rational, methodic interpretation of meditative insights, the validity of which is substantiated with a compelling scientific literature review, the author constructs hypotheses that reconcile facts with intuition. Mesmerizing narratives of his expeditions into the unconscious suggest an amazing possibility: just as dreams are seemingly autonomous manifestations of our psyche, reality may be an externalized combination of the subconscious dreams of us all, mixed as they are projected onto the fabric of space-time. Perhaps the laws of physics are an emergent by-product of such synchronization of thoughts. Through computer simulations, the author explores the implications of these hypotheses, with conclusions uncannily reminiscent of observed phenomena.
Author: Whitney A. Bauman
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2014-04-29
Moving beyond identity politics while continuing to respect diverse entities and concerns, Whitney A. Bauman builds a planetary politics that better responds to the realities of a pluralistic world. Calling attention to the historical, political, and ecological influences shaping our understanding of nature, religion, humanity, and identity, Bauman collapses the boundaries separating male from female, biology from machine, human from more than human, and religion from science, encouraging readers to embrace hybridity and the inherent fluctuations of an open, evolving global community. As he outlines his planetary ethic, Bauman concurrently develops an environmental ethic of movement that relies not on place but on the daily connections we make across the planet. He shows how both identity politics and environmental ethics fail to realize planetary politics and action, limited as they are by foundational modes of thought that create entire worlds out of their own logic. Introducing a postfoundational vision not rooted in the formal principles of "nature" or "God" and not based in the idea of human exceptionalism, Bauman draws on cutting-edge insights from queer, poststructural, and deconstructive theory and makes a major contribution to the study of religion, science, politics, and ecology.
Author: Richard Boyd
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 1991
Using formal logic, Reconstructing the Past seeks to clarify and resolve themethodological issues that arise when biologists try to answer such questions as whether humanbeings are more closely related to chimps than they are to gorillas. It explores the case forconsidering the philosophical idea of simplicity/parsimony as a useful principle for evaluatingtaxonomic theories of evolutionary relationships. Bringing together philosophy, biology, andstatistics, Sober builds a general framework for understanding the circumstances in which parsimonymakes sense as a tool of phylogenetic inference.Elliott Sober is Professor of Philosophy at theUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison, and the author of The Nature of Selection.
Author: James D. Proctor
Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press
Release Date: 2009-10-15
Contemporary scholarship has given rise to several different modes of understanding biophysical and human nature, each of which is entangled with related notions of science and religion. Envisioning Nature, Science, and Religionrepresents the culmination of three years of collaboration by an international group of fourteen natural scientists, social scientists, humanists, and theologians. The result is an intellectually stimulating volume that explores how the ideas of nature pertain to science and religion. Editor James D. Proctor has gathered sixteen in-depth essays, each of which examines and compares different aspects of five central metaphors or "visions" of biophysical and human nature. These visions are evolutionary nature, emergent nature, malleable nature, nature as sacred, and nature as culture. The book's diverse contributors offer a wide variety of unique perspectives on these five visions, spanning the intellectual spectrum and proposing important and often startling implications for religion and science alike. Throughout the essays, the authors do a great deal of cross-referencing and engaging each other's ideas, creating a cohesive dialogue on the visions of nature. Envisioning Nature, Science, and Religionoffers a blend of scholarly rigor and readable prose that will be appreciated by anyone engaged in the fields of religion, philosophy, and the natural sciences.
Author: Gerard Delanty
Publisher: Open University Press
Release Date: 2003-04-01
“This book will certainly prove to be a useful resource and reference point … a good addition to anyone’s bookshelf.” Network "This is a superb collection, expertly presented. The overall conception seems splendid, giving an excellent sense of the issues... The selection and length of the readings is admirably judged, with both the classic texts and the few unpublished pieces making just the right points." William Outhwaite, Professor of Sociology, University of Sussex "... an indispensable book for all of us in philosophy and the social sciences who teach and care about the shape of social knowledge in the future." Steven Seidman, Professor of Sociology, State University of New York Albany "For a comprehensive account of the ways in which world transformations affect claims to social scientific knowledge, one need look no further than Gerard Delanty and Piet Strydom's Philosophies of Social Science. ...this collection captures nicely the increasingly engaged political nature of the philosophy of social science. Debates about pragmatism, feminism and postmodernism are particularly well represented" The Australian What is social science? How does it differ from the other sciences? What is the meaning of method in social science? What is the nature and limits of scientific knowledge? This collection of over sixty extracts from classic works on the philosophy of social science provides an essential textbook and a landmark reference in the field. It highlights the work of some of the most influential authors who have shaped social science. The texts explore the question of truth, the meaning of scientific knowledge, the nature of methodology and the relation of science to society, including edited extracts from both classic and contemporary works by authors such as Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, Max Weber, Alfred Schutz, Max Horkheimer, Jurgen Habermas, Alvin Gouldner, Karl-Otto Apel, Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony Giddens, Dorothy Smith, Donna Haraway, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Derrida and Claude Levi-Strauss. The readings are representative of the major schools of thought, including European and American trends in particular as well as approaches that are often excluded from mainstream traditions. From a teaching and learning perspective the volume is strengthened by extensive introductions to each of the six sections, as well as a general introduction to the reader as a whole. These introductions contextualise the readings and offer succinct summaries of them. This volume is the definitive companion to the study of the philosophy of social science, taught within undergraduate or postgraduate courses in sociology and the social sciences.
Author: Jonathan Joseph
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Release Date: 2010-09-15
Genre: Political Science
Critical and scientific realism have emerged as important perspectives on international relations in recent years. The attraction of these approaches lies in the claim that they can transcend the positivism vs. postpositivism divide. This book demonstrates the vitality of this approach and the difference that "realism" makes.