Emergentism revisited

Document Type: 
ASSC Conference Item
Article Type: 
Theoretical
Disciplines: 
Philosophy
Topics: 
Theory of Consciousness
Keywords: 
explanatory gap, hard problem, emergentism, reduction, microphysical, macrophysical, levels of description, perspectival realism
Deposited by: 
Kristina Musholt
Date of Issue: 
2006
Authors: 
Kristina Musholt
Event Dates: 
23-26 June 2006
Event Location: 
Oxford, UK
Event Title: 
10th annual meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness
Event Type: 
ASSC Conference
Presentation Type: 
Poster
Refereed: 
No
Abstract: 
The “explanatory gap” (Levine, 1983) is proposed to be the “hard problem” of consciousness research and has generated a great deal of recent debate.Arguments brought forward to reveal this gap include the conceivability of zombies (Chalmers, 1996) or the “super-neuroscientist” Mary (Jackson, 1982). These are supposed to show that the facts of consciousness are not a priori entailed by the microphysical facts. Similar arguments were already proposed by emergence theories (Broad, 1925) in the context of the debate between mechanism and vitalism. According to synchronic emergentism, the property of a system is emergent, when it cannot - in principle - be deduced from a complete description of the system’s components. Here, I argue that apart from phenomenal properties there are many other properties that, even though they are clearly physical, are not reductively explainable either. The explanatory gap of consciousness is therefore only a part of a much more general problem.
AttachmentSize
EmergenzASSC10final.pdf627.33 KB