Visible to the public Brute facts about emergenceConflict Detection Enabled

TitleBrute facts about emergence
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSymons, John
Book TitleBrute Facts
PublisherOxford Scholarship Online
ISBN Number9780198758600
Keywords2018: October, brute fact, C. D. Broad, emergence, Formal Approaches to the Ontology & Epistemology of Resilience, Foundations, KU, Metrics, philosophy of chemistry, Principle of Sufficient Reason, Samuel Alexander

This chapter explores the relationship between the concept of emergence, the goal of theoretical completeness, and the Principle of Sufficient Reason. Samuel Alexander and C. D. Broad argued for limits to the power of scientific explanation. Chemical explanation played a central role in their thinking. After Schrodinger's work in the 1920s their examples seem to fall flat. However, there are more general lessons from the emergentists that need to be explored. There are cases where we know that explanation of some phenomenon is impossible. What are the implications of known limits to the explanatory power of science, and the apparent ineliminability of brute facts for emergence? One lesson drawn here is that we must embrace a methodological rather than a metaphysical conception of the Principle of Sufficient Reason.

Citation Keynode-58960
Refereed DesignationRefereed