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Title: Being : known, diverse, whole and potential : a popular philosophy of emergent evolution
Author: Rose, Robert Andrew.
ISNI:       0000 0001 1896 1342
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol,
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2007
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In this thesis, I show how scientists' philosophies of emergent evolution are situated in popular science literature. I show how emergent evolution is usually explained through various kinds of reductionism or holism. This involves considering the dominant form of reductionism, namely physicalism. Physicalism tries to explain the evolutionary emergence of new phenomena through the laws of physics. I n contrast, the view called emergentism attempts to explain new phenomena as new and unique wholes. I argue that a diversity of explanations imply a diversity of reality. This is done through showing a holistic relationship between ontology and explanation and method. I will show that this does not imply accepting realities other than the physical as in any way unscientific. I show that a diversity of explanations is either implicitly or explicitly accepted by many scientists and that this implies extra kinds of reality, or being, in addition to the physical. This is in opposition to physicalism. Physical ism argues for a uniformity of explanation, I shall be arguing for epistemological and ontological pluralism. Being or reality, I will also show, is also inclusive as well as plural I diverse. If applied to emergent evolution, this means that emergence can be interpreted as the appearance of new kinds of reality that include the lower level kinds. Through this, inclusive emergence allows for an increase in the 'depth' of explanations over evolutionary time and that this gives a degree of deeper explanation to the lower level realities like the physical and the biological. I consider also the notion that evolutionary emergence can be explained through a concept of Potentiality. In this research, the Potential is conceived as a 'Creative Whole Over Time', and the Actual as the set of 'Created Parts in Time'. In this way I argue for a form of emergentism which explains the appearance of realities like the physical, biological, social and cultural through the idea of potentiality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available