Posted: Apr 23, 2013 5:55 pm
by Chrisw
lpetrich wrote:So we are now getting into an emergentism vs. reductionism debate?

Back to our original subject, do we have something like:
Naturalism: can include emergentism, reductionism, and anything in between
Materialism: includes reductionism only

I think that if we are going to argue about emergentism vs. reductionism, that it's best to start off by discussing entities whose structures and features are well-understood as results of the structures and features of their parts. That's so that unknown details will not get in the way, as they are likely to do with mind. Entities like cars and houses and the like.

Supervenience physicalism is usually regarded as non-reductive (at least by its supporters). The term "emergence" is usually reserved for something more than simple supervenience. Though some people call supervenience "weak emergence". In which case the argument would be between weak emergence (supervenience) and strong emergence. I'm not sure who the "reductionists" are these days.

I'd say that strong emergence is against the spirit of metaphysical naturalism, if not strictly non-naturalistic.