Against Their Own Intention: Problematic Consequences of Ontological Emergence

Georg Gasser

Abstract



In this paper we examine ontological emergence (OE). We will not discuss OE in
general but in philosophy of mind. According to our opinion the main motivation for
philosophers to look for an emergentist theory is a commitment to a naturalistic
understanding of reality on the one hand and a realistic attitude towards the mental
on the other. Tim O’Connor et al. made several proposals how an emergentist theory of
mind might work. Analysing these proposals we come to a negative conclusion: O’
Connor’s et al.’s version of emergentism cannot keep its promises. Additionally there
lurk some counter-intuitive conclusions which better should be avoided.

Keywords


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; ontological emergence; reductionism; living being; endurantism; hylomorphism

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