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A pragmatic realist view of emergence



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EL-HANI, Charbel Niño; PIHLSTRÖM, Sami. A pragmatic realist view of emergence. Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofia, Campinas, SP, v. 25, n. 3, p. 105–154, 2002. Disponível em: Acesso em: 21 maio. 2024.


This paper examines the notion of emergence from the perspective of pragmatism, drawing special attention to Donald Davidson’s recent account of the emergence of thought and to Hilary Putnam’s pragmatic realism, which, we argue, can be applied to the question of the reality of emergent properties. Our overall conclusion is that the debate over the concept of emergence actively going on in contemporary metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science should be focused more strongly on the realism issue, even though most emergentists (and their critics) tend to assume a rather straightforward metaphysical realism – a view that ought to be called into question on pragmatist grounds.



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