No. 12 (2017): New Trends in Philosophy
Submitted Contributions

Looking for Emergence in Physics

Joana Rigato
Champalimaud Center for the Unknown - Lisbon

Published 2017-08-09


  • emergentism,
  • ontological emergence,
  • epistemological emergence,
  • reductionism,
  • physics

How to Cite

Rigato, J. (2017). Looking for Emergence in Physics. Phenomenology and Mind, (12), 174–183.


Despite its recent popularity, Emergence is still a field where philosophers and physicists often talk past each other. In fact, while philosophical discussions focus mostly on ontological emergence, physical theory is inherently limited to the epistemological level and the impossibility of its conclusions to provide direct evidence for ontological claims is often underestimated. Nevertheless, the emergentist philosopher’s case against reductionist theories of how the different levels of reality are related to each other can still gain from the assessment of paradigmatic examples of discontinuity between models in physics, even though their implications must be handled with care.


Metrics Loading ...