Single Idea 3472

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 7. Emergent Properties]

Full Idea

The existence of any fully 'emergent' properties (that have a life of their own) violates even the weakest principle of the transitivity of causation.

Gist of Idea

Fully 'emergent' properties contradict our whole theory of causation


John Searle (The Rediscovery of the Mind [1992], Ch. 5.I)

Book Reference

Searle,John R.: 'The Rediscovery of the Mind' [MIT 1999], p.112

A Reaction

When Searle talks like this, he sounds like a thoroughgoing reductive physicalist (but is he really?). Any philosopher of mind who uses the word 'emergence' must say EXACTLY what they mean by it.