Disentangling the Vitalism–Emergentism Knot

Article
  • 72 Downloads

Abstract

Starting with the observation that there exist contradictory claims in the literature about the relationship between vitalism and emergentism—be it one of inclusion or, on the contrary, exclusion–, this paper aims at disentangling the vitalism–emergentism knot. To this purpose, after having described a particular form of emergentism, namely Lloyd Morgan’s emergent evolutionism, I develop a conceptual analysis on the basis of a distinction between varieties of monism and pluralism. This analysis allows me to identify and characterize several forms of vitalism and emergentism, and a subsequent comparison between these forms constitutes the occasion for a clarification of the relationship between both doctrines.

Keywords

Vitalism Emergentism Emergence Emergent evolutionism 

References

  1. Ablowitz, R. (1939). The theory of emergence. Philosophy of Science, 6, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alexander, S. (1920). Space, time, and deity. London: MacMillan and Co.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, P. W. (1972). More is different. Science, 177, 393–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bain, A. (1870). Logic (Vol. II). London: Longmans, Green, Reader, & Dyer.Google Scholar
  5. Bechtel, W., & Richardson, R. C. (2010). Discovering complexity: Decomposition and localization as strategies in scientific research. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Beckner, M. O. (1967). Organismic biology. In P. Edwards (Ed.), The encyclopedia of philosophy (Vol. V). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  7. Bedau, M. (1997). Weak emergence. Philosophical Perspectives, 11, 375–399.Google Scholar
  8. Blitz, D. (1990). Emergent evolution and the level structure of reality. In P. Weingartner & G. J. W. Dorn (Eds.), Studies on mario bunge’s treatise (pp. 153–169). Amsterdam: Rodopi.Google Scholar
  9. Blitz, D. (1992). Emergent evolution: Qualitative novelty and the levels of reality. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Broad, C. D. (1925). The mind and its place in nature. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.Google Scholar
  11. Canguilhem, G. (1989). La connaissance de la vie. Paris: Vrin.Google Scholar
  12. Caston, V. (1997). Epiphenomenalisms, ancient and modern. The Philosophical Review, 106, 309–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Caston, V. (2000). Commentary on miller. In J. J. Cleary & G. M. Gurtler (Eds.), Proceedings of the boston area colloquium in ancient philosophy (pp. 214–230). Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  14. Clayton, P. (2004). Mind and emergence: From quantum to consciousness. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Crane, T. (2001). The significance of emergence. In C. Gillett & B. Loewer (Eds.), Physicalism and its discontents (pp. 207–224). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Davidson, D. (1970). Mental events. In L. Foster & J. W. Swanson (Eds.), From experience to theory (pp. 247–256). Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  17. Dewey, J., Hook, S., & Nagel, E. (1945). Are naturalists materialists? The Journal of Philosophy, 42, 515–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Driesch, H. (1914). The history and theory of vitalism (trad. C. K. Ogden). London: MacMillan and Co.Google Scholar
  19. Fagot-Largeault, A. (2002). L’émergence. In D. Andler, A. Fagot-Largeault & B. Saint-Sernin (Eds.), Philosophie des sciences (pp. 939–1048). Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  20. Fodor, J. A. (1974). Special sciences (or the disunity of science as a working hypothesis). Synthese, 28, 97–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Garrett, B. (2013). Vitalism versus emergent materialism. In S. Normandin & C. T. Wolfe (Eds.), Vitalism and the scientific image in post-enlightenment life science, 1800–2010 (pp. 127–154). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gayon, J. (2011). Vitalisme et philosophie de la biologie. In P. Nouvel (Ed.), Repenser le vitalisme. Histoire et philosophie du vitalisme (pp. 15–31). Paris: Presses universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  23. Gillett, C. (2002). The varieties of emergence: Their purposes, obligations and importance. Grazer Philosophische Studien, 65, 95–121.Google Scholar
  24. Glansdorff, P., & Prigogine, I. (1971). Structure, stabilité et fluctuations. Paris: Masson.Google Scholar
  25. Guay, A., & Sartenaer, O. (2016). A new look at emergence. Or when after is different. European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 6(2), 297–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Heinaman, R. (1990). Aristotle and the mind-body problem. Phronesis, 35, 83–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Horgan, T. (1993). From supervenience to superdupervenience: Meeting the demands of a material world. Mind, 408, 555–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hull, D. (1972). Reduction in genetics—biology or philosophy? Philosophy of Science, 39, 491–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Huneman, P. (2011). Vie, vitalisme et émergence: Une perspective contemporaine. In P. Nouvel (Ed.), Repenser le vitalisme: Histoire et philosophie du vitalisme (pp. 201–217). Paris: Presses universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  30. Jennings, H. S. (1927). Diverse doctrines of evolution. Their Relation to the practice of science and life. Science, 65, 19–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kim, J. (1992). “Downward causation” in emergentism and non-reductive physicalism. In A. Beckermann, H. Flohr & J. Kim (Eds.), Emergence or reduction? Essays on the prospect of nonreductive physicalism (pp. 119–138). Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  32. Kim, J. (1999). Making sense of emergence. Philosophical Studies, 95, 3–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kim, J. (2006). Emergence: Core ideas and issues. Synthese, 151, 547–559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kim, J. (2010). Essays in the metaphysics of mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lemoine, A. (1864). Le Vitalisme et l’animisme de Stahl. Paris: Germer Baillière.Google Scholar
  36. Lewes, G. H. (1875). Problems of life and mind first series: The foundations of a creed (Vol. II). Boston: James R. Osgood and Company.Google Scholar
  37. Malaterre, C. (2007). Le “néo-vitalisme” au XIXème siècle: une seconde école française de l’émergence. Bulletin d’histoire et d’épistémologie des sciences de la vie, 14, 25–44.Google Scholar
  38. Malaterre, C. (2010). Les Origines de la vie: Émergence ou explication réductive? Paris: Hermann.Google Scholar
  39. Malaterre, C. (2013). Life as an emergent phenomenon: From an alternative to vitalism to an alternative to reductionism. In S. Normandin & C. T. Wolfe (Eds.), Vitalism and the scientific image in post-enlightenment life science, 1800–2010 (pp. 155–178). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. McLaughlin, B. (1992). The rise and fall of british emergentism. In A. Beckermann, H. Flohr & J. Kim (Eds.), Emergence or reduction? Essays on the prospect of nonreductive physicalism (pp. 49–93). Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  41. McLaughlin, B. (1997). Emergence and supervenience. Intellectica, 25, 25–43.Google Scholar
  42. Mill, J. S. (1843). A system of logic: Ratiocinative and inductive. London: John W. Paker.Google Scholar
  43. Montague, W. P. (1929). A materialistic theory of emergent evolution. In J. Dewey (Ed.), Essays in honor of John Dewey, on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, October 20, 1929 (pp. 257–273). New York: Henri Holt.Google Scholar
  44. Morange, M. (2005). Les Secrets du vivant: Contre la pensée unique en biologie. Paris: La Découverte.Google Scholar
  45. Morgan, C. L. (1894). An introduction to comparative psychology. London: Walter Scott Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Morgan, C. L. (1913). Spencer’s philosophy of science. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  47. Morgan, C. L. (1923). Emergent evolution. London: Williams & Norgate.Google Scholar
  48. Nicholson, D., & Gawne, R. (2014). Rethinking Woodger’s legacy in the philosophy of biology. Journal of the History of Biology, 47, 243–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Oppenheim, P., & Putnam, H. (1958). Unity of science as a working hypothesis. In H. Feigl, M. Scriven & G. Maxwell (Eds.), Minnesota studies in the philosophy of science (pp. 3–36). Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Papineau, D. (1993). Philosophical naturalism. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  51. Putnam, H. (1967). Psychological predicates. In W. H. Capitan & D. D. Merrill (Eds.), Art, mind, and religion (pp. 158–167). Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  52. Putnam, H. (1981). Reason, truth and history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sartenaer, O. (2011). Entre monisme et dualisme: Deux stratégies pour l’émergence. Philosophiques, 38(2), 543–557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sartenaer, O. (2013). Neither metaphysical dichotomy nor pure identity. Clarifying the emergentist creed. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 44(3), 365–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sartenaer, O. (2015). Emergent evolutionism, determinism and unpredictability. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 51, 62–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sartenaer, O. (2016). Sixteen years later: Making sense of emergence (again). Journal for General Philosophy of Science, 47(1), 79–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sellars, R. W. (1922). Evolutionary naturalism. Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  58. Sellars, R. W. (1927). Why naturalism and not materialism? The Philosophical Review, 36, 216–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sellars, R. W. (1933). L’Hypothèse de l’émergence. Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale, 40, 309–324.Google Scholar
  60. Sellars, R. W. (1970). Principles of emergent realism. St. Louis: Warren H. Green.Google Scholar
  61. Smith, D. A. (1994). A brief history of the hydrogen bond. In D. A. Smith (Ed.), Modeling the hydrogen bond (pp. 1–5). Washington: American Chemical Society.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sober, E. (1993). Philosophy of biology. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  63. Stephan, A. (1992). Emergence—a systematic view on its historical facets. In A. Beckermann, H. Flohr & J. Kim (Eds.), Emergence or reduction? Essays on the prospect of nonreductive physicalism (pp. 25–48). Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  64. Vision, G. (2011). Re-emergence: Locating conscious properties in a material world. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wolfe, C. T. (2011). From substantival to functional vitalism and beyond: Animas, organisms and attitudes. Eidos, 14, 212–235.Google Scholar
  66. Wolfe, C. T. (2013). Sensibility as Vital Force or as Property of Matter in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Debates. In H. M. Lloyd (Ed.), The discourse of sensibility: The knowing body in the enlightenment (pp. 147–170). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wolfe, C. T., & Terada, M. (2008). The animal economy as object and program in Montpellier vitalism. Science in Context, 21, 537–579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Woodger, J. H. (1929). Biological principles: A critical study. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut supérieur de PhilosophieCollège MercierLouvain-La-NeuveBelgium

Personalised recommendations