Philosophical Studies

, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp 39–51

Emergence, Supervenience, and Realization

  • Rex Welshon

DOI: 10.1023/A:1015755913389

Cite this article as:
Welshon, R. Philosophical Studies (2002) 108: 39. doi:10.1023/A:1015755913389


In the first section of this paper, I articulate Jaegwon Kim's argument against emergent down ward causation. In the second section, I canvas four responses to Kim's argument and argue that each fails. In the third section, I show that emergent downward causation does not, contra Kim, entail overdetermination. I argue that supervenience of emergent upon base properties is not sufficient for nomological causal relationsbetween emergent and base properties. What sustains Kim's argument is rather the claim that emergent properties realized by base properties can have no causal powers distinct from those base properties. I argue that this is false.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rex Welshon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Colorado at Colorado SpringsColorado SpringsUSA