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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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    Abstract

    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
    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 11:14
    Item ID: 2934
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2934

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