Towards A New Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science
418 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Hardcover | 9780268104979 | July 2019
eBook (PDF) | 9780268104993 | July 2019
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268105006 | July 2019
Over the last several decades, the theories of emergence and downward causation have become arguably the most popular conceptual tools in scientific and philosophical attempts to explain the nature and character of global organization observed in various biological phenomena, from individual cell organization to ecological systems. The theory of emergence acknowledges the reality of layered strata or levels of systems, which are consequences of the appearance of an interacting range of novel qualities.
A closer analysis of emergentism, however, reveals a number of philosophical problems facing this theory. In Emergence, Mariusz Tabaczek offers a thorough analysis of these problems and a constructive proposal of a new metaphysical foundation for both the classic downward causation-based and the new dynamical depth accounts of emergence theory, developed by Terrence Deacon. Tabaczek suggests ways in which both theoretical models of emergentism can be grounded in the classical and the new (dispositionalist) versions of Aristotelianism. This book will have an eager audience in metaphysicians working both in the analytic and the Thomistic traditions, as well as philosophers of science and biology interested in emergence theory and causation.
Mariusz Tabaczek, O.P., is researcher and lecturer at the Thomistic Institute in Warsaw, Poland.
“Mariusz Tabaczek brings together in a single, coherent narrative work that others have not integrated before—namely, both philosophical and scientific work on emergence causal powers, and the renaissance of Aristotelianism. Tabaczek offers new and powerful criticisms of emergentism from an ontological perspective. He provides a fair and judicious appraisal of recent work on causal powers and hylomorphism, from a Thomistic viewpoint. Such a critique is timely and important. The scholarship is excellent.” ~Robert Koons, University of Texas at Austin
“The book presents in a very detailed narrative the current status quaestionis of theories of powers metaphysics as well as emergence and downward causation, and is extremely valuable and informative, proposing a move forward in the contemporary metaphysical discussion. The scholarship is superb, and the arguments and ideas presented in it could lead to new developments in the future by many a scholar interested in an Aristotelian interpretation of powers ontology.” ~Ignacio Silva, Philosophy Institute, Austral University, Argentina
"Mariusz Tabaczek’s Emergence provides us with Aristotle’s metaphysics masterfully updated to address some of the most vexing dilemmas of twenty-first-century philosophy of science. Whether or not it resolves current debates about the nature of causality and the concept of emergence, it nevertheless reframes them with a clarity and precision that only the father of metaphysics could provide." ~Terrence W. Deacon, University of California, Berkeley
"The time is exactly right for Mariusz Tabaczek’s new book on emergence. In relating historical debates to contemporary metaphysics, Tabaczek produces a philosophical tour de force encompassing all the relevant contributions to the debate and, just as importantly, establishing a plausible set of conclusions. This will surely be a major reference for future work on the topic." ~Stephen Mumford, Durham University