August 12, 2022

Processual Emergentism

Abstract

The turn of the twenty-first century was a period of intensified research on the description of the world as a complex structure built of dynamical systems occurring at different levels of reality. Such systems can be described as bundles of processes. Therefore, the most empirically adequate ontology turns out to be processualism. In this paper, I describe a contemporary version of processual philosophy, which I refer to as processual (or dynamical) emergentism. Within the proposed position, the classical formulations of processualism and emergentism are revisited. Both elements complement each other – emergence describes constant, radical novelty as the basic feature of nature, while processualism employs the category of a process, which replaces the classically understood substance.

The approach to emergence developed here is ontological and diachronic. I discuss classic determinants of emergence and propose a discussion on the category of supervenience, which in the light of the adopted assumptions turns out to be insufficient to describe the relationship of the dependence of the emergent on its base. Finally, processualism is reconciled with moderate structuralism and strong emergentism.

August 12, 2022 at 05:37PM

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