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Reduction and Emergence in Science and Philosophy
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    Gillett, Carl 2016. Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground. p. 205.

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Book description

Grand debates over reduction and emergence are playing out across the sciences, but these debates have reached a stalemate, with both sides declaring victory on empirical grounds. In this book, Carl Gillett provides new theoretical frameworks with which to understand these debates, illuminating both the novel positions of scientific reductionists and emergentists and the recent empirical advances that drive these new views. Gillett also highlights the flaws in existing philosophical frameworks and reorients the discussion to reflect the new scientific advances and issues, including the nature of 'parts' and 'wholes', the character of aggregation, and thus the continuity of nature itself. Most importantly, Gillett shows how disputes about concrete scientific cases are empirically resolvable and hence how we can break the scientific stalemate. Including a detailed glossary of key terms, this volume will be valuable for researchers and advanced students of the philosophy of science and metaphysics, and scientific researchers working in the area.


‘This impressive book by Carl Gillett offers a new perspective on an old idea, emergence, an idea that has refused to go away in spite of the many damaging criticisms over the years. It is noteworthy that the concept has found many champions among the practicing scientists working in fields such as physics, life science, cognitive neuroscience, and systems theory. Gillett's account is based in a deep knowledge of the history of emergence in both philosophy and science, presenting a formidable challenge to the critics and skeptics in the field. It should help to elevate the debates to a new level. Highly recommended to all who are interested in mind, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science.'

Jaegwon Kim - Brown University, Rhode Island

‘Carl Gillett's masterful book is a comprehensive and original contribution to the philosophical discussion of emergence and reduction in science and philosophy.'

Barry Loewer - Rutgers University, New Jersey

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