The problem with emergence

Emergence is abused in science and philosophy

Science and philosophy are beset by many mysteries. But in recent years,many thinkers have resorted to the idea of ‘emergence properties’ as a sufficient explanation for many puzzling phenomena: Properties that emerge as a result of interacting components within a system, but properties that do not belong to any individual within that system. Hence, consciousness can arise from unconscious matter, and free will can arise from particles that have no will or agency. Cognitive scientist Derek Cabrera explains how the concept of emergence gets abused and can open the back door to lazy mysticism.

At the HowTheLightGetsIn London 2023 Festival taking place September 23rd/24th, Philip Goff, Eleanor Knox, and Hilary Lawson will debate whether ‘Emergence’ is a valid way of explaining anything.


Emergence, the en

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