Ragioni dell’emergentismo

Andrea Zhok


Emergentist theories have never represented a "school" with an identifiable orthodoxy, however it is possible to isolate four basic traits, that characterize most emergent property theories. A property can be said to be "emergent" in the first place, if it is a natural property (and not a "supernatural" one), then if it supervenes on subvenient properties, if it is irreducible (i.e. it cannot be deduced from the mere knowledge of the subvenient properties), and if it displays downward causation (i.e. it is capable of producing effects on the level from which it emerges). A theoretical interpretation of these four principles shows that there is never any basis for assuming that the behavior of the parts exhausts the potentialities of the wholes, those parts refer to. The "emergent" character of a property stands out as expression of the fundamentally "holistic" character of entities, which express their properties in forms essentially dependent on their relations. The relational essence of the properties coincides with their intrinsically emergent character.


Properties; consciousness; causation

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