The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion

Paperback | May 28, 2008

EditorPhilip Clayton, Paul Davies

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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 thisnew 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 itspotentially momentous implications.

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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, natura...

Philip Clayton is a Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Claremont Graduate University and Ingraham Professor at the Claremont School of Theology. Paul Davies is a Professor of Natural Philosophy at the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University in Sydney.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.75 inPublished:May 28, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019954431X

ISBN - 13:9780199544318

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Table of Contents

1. Philip Clayton: Conceptual Foundations of Emergence TheoryI. The Physical Sciences2. Paul Davies: The Physics of Downward Causation3. Erich Joos: The Emergence of Classicality from Quantum Theory4. George F. R. Ellis: On the Nature of Emergent RealityII. The Biological Sciences5. Terrence Deacon: Emergence: The Hole at the Wheel's Hub6. Lynn Rothschild: The Role of Emergence in Biology7. Barbara Smuts: Emergence in Social Evolution: A Great Ape ExampleIII. Consciousness and Emergence8. Jaegwon Kim: Being Realistic about Emergence9. Michael Silberstein: In Defence of Ontological Emergence and Mental Causation10. Nancey Murphy: Emergence and Mental Causation11. David Chalmers: Varieties of EmergenceIV. Religion and Emergence12. Arthur Peacocke: Emergence, Mind, and Divine Action: The Hierarchy of the Sciences in Relation to the Human Mind-Brain-Body13. Niels Henrik Gregersen: Emergence: What is at Stake for Religious Reflection?14. Philip Clayton: Emergence from Quantum Physics to Religion: A Critical Appraisal

Editorial Reviews

`Offers an excellent introduction to the diverse perspectives on this subject.'Faith and Theology