Topics:Neural Correlates of Consciousness
Keywords:reentrant; recursive; emergent; emergence; epistemological; causal;
Deposited by:Dr. Steven R. Brown on 16 January 2009
Date of Issue:2009
Journal/Publication Title:American Philosophical Quarterly
Volume:In Press (July 2009)
Abstract:As long as a system (i.e., a dynamic ensemble of interacting components) interacts as a singular, unitary entity, its properties cannot be reduced to those of any putative components. If systems interact with other systems such that the former’s properties are not distinguishable as the properties of more fundamental systems or entities, they are the equivalents of single entities in those interactions. A precise, yet general, description of the parameters necessary to observe a physical system as a singular entity is thus necessary to establish under what conditions a system is understood as emergent. That description is provided in terms of the temporal dynamics of systems and their internal/external interactions. Given this epistemological, functional analysis, it can be shown that the emphasis in discovering such systems should shift from identifying new or unpredictable properties or causal powers to searching for systems with generally similar dynamics.