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Elly Vintiadis and Constantinos Mekios

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198758600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198758600.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 October 2021

Emergence, Downward Causation, and No Brute Facts in Biological Systems

Emergence, Downward Causation, and No Brute Facts in Biological Systems

Chapter:
(p.248) 14 Emergence, Downward Causation, and No Brute Facts in Biological Systems
Source:
Brute Facts
Author(s):

Argyris Arnellos

Charbel El-Hani

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198758600.003.0014

This chapter explains emergence in biological organizations through a conception of ontological emergence according to which certain types of dynamical organizations possess irreducible properties that are nevertheless derivable from the substrate. The authors concentrate on the ontological dimension of emergence as the irreducibly causal configuration exhibited by all organizations that manifest persistence and stability in their environment. This is a conception of ontological emergence where the locus of novel causal powers is the configuration of constituents into stable dynamic organizations. There is nothing brute to be explained in the emergence of causal properties in a biological organization; all that is needed is the consideration of its organizational characteristics in terms of same-level and inter-level causal interactions, the type of which is of formal causation for interactions among the constituents of the organization and of efficient causation for interactions among the constituents and the micro-properties of their surrounding emergence base.

Keywords:   emergence, downward causation, organization, biological system, formal cause, efficient cause

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