The Re-emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion
By: Paul Davies (editor), Philip Clayton (editor)Paperback
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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.
1. Conceptual Foundations of Emergence Theory ; I. THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES ; 2. The Physics of Downward Causation ; 3. The Emergence of Classicality from Quantum Theory ; 4. On the Nature of Emergent Reality ; II. THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES ; 5. Emergence: The Hole at the Wheel's Hub ; 6. The Role of Emergence in Biology ; 7. Emergence in Social Evolution: A Great Ape Example ; III. CONSCIOUSNESS AND EMERGENCE ; 8. Being Realistic about Emergence ; 9. In Defence of Ontological Emergence and Mental Causation ; 10. Emergence and Mental Causation ; 11. Varieties of Emergence ; IV. RELIGION AND EMERGENCE ; 12. Emergence, Mind, and Divine Action: The Hierarchy of the Sciences in Relation to the Human Mind-Brain-Body ; 13. Emergence: What is at Stake for Religious Reflection? ; 14. Emergence from Quantum Physics to Religion: A Critical Appraisal
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