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Contextual Emergence in the Description of Properties

Bishop, Robert C and Atmanspacher, Harald (2006) Contextual Emergence in the Description of Properties. [Preprint]


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The role of contingent contexts in formulating relations between properties of systems at different descriptive levels is addressed. Based on the distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions for interlevel relations, a comprehensive classification of such relations is proposed, providing a transparent conceptual framework for discussing particular versions of reduction, emergence, and supervenience. One of these versions, contextual emergence, is demonstrated using two physical examples: molecular structure and chirality, and thermal equilibrium and temperature. The concept of stability is emphasized as a basic guiding principle of contextual property emergence.

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Item Type: Preprint
Bishop, Robert C
Atmanspacher, Harald
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Foundations of Physics
Keywords: contextual emergence, contextual observables, molecular shape, temperature, topology, stability
Subjects: General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Chemistry
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Dr Robert C. Bishop
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2006
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:14
Item ID: 2934

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