The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion

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Overview


Much of the modern period was dominated by a 'reductionist' theory of science. On this view, to explain any event in the world is to reduce it down to fundamental particles, laws, and forces. In recent years reductionism has been dramatically challenged by a radically new paradigm called 'emergence'. According to this new theory, natural history reveals the continuous emergence of novel phenomena: new structures and new organisms with new causal powers. Consciousness is yet one more emergent level in the natural hierarchy. Many theologians and religious scholars believe that this new paradigm may offer new insights into the nature of God and God's relation to the world.
This volume introduces readers to emergence theory, outlines the major arguments in its defence, and summarizes the most powerful objections against it. Written by experts but suitable as an introductory text, these essays provide the best available presentation of this exciting new field and its potentially momentous implications.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199287147
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/24/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Claremont School of Theology

Macquarie University, Sydney

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Table of Contents

1 Conceptual foundations of emergence theory 1
2 The physics of downward causation 35
3 The emergence of classicality from quantum theory 53
4 On the nature of emergent reality 79
5 Emergence : the hole at the wheel's hub 111
6 The role of emergence in biology 151
7 Emergence in social evolution : a great ape example 166
8 Being realistic about emergence 189
9 In defence of ontological emergence and mental causation 203
10 Emergence and mental causation 227
11 Strong and weak emergence 244
12 Emergence, mind, and divine action : the hierarchy of the sciences in relation to the human mind-brain-body 257
13 Emergence : what is at stake for religious reflection? 279
14 Emergence from quantum physics to religion : a critical appraisal 303
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