From emergence theory to panpsychism—a philosophical evaluation of Nancey Murphy’s non-reductive physicalism

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Abstract

In this article, I offer a critical evaluation of non-reductive physicalism as articulated and defended by Nancey Murphy. I argue that (A) the examples given by Murphy do not illustrate robust emergence and the philosophical idea of downward causation. (B) The thesis of multiple realizability is ontologically neutral, and so cannot support the idea of the causal efficacy of higher-level properties. (C) Supervenience is incompatible with strong emergence. I also argue for the fruitful relationship between emergence theory and panpsychism pertaining to the metaphysical issue of the origin and nature of mind.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-394
JournalSophia
Volume55
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2016

Keywords

  • Emergence theory
  • Panpsychism
  • Nancey Murphy

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