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Causality, emergence, computation and unreasonable expectations

Abstract

I argue that much of current concern with the role of causality and strong emergence in natural processes is based upon an unreasonable expectation placed on our ability to formalize scientific knowledge. In most disciplines our formalization ability is an expectation rather than a scientific result. This calls for an empirical approach to the study of causation and emergence. Finally, I suggest that for advances in complexity research to occur, attention needs to be paid to understanding what role computation plays in this experimental approach.

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Author information

Correspondence to Fabio Boschetti.

Additional information

This article was published as doi:10.1007/s11229-010-9720 in Vol. 181, issue #3, pp. 405–412 (2011).

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Boschetti, F. Causality, emergence, computation and unreasonable expectations. Synthese 185, 187–194 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-012-0077-z

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Keywords

  • Causation
  • Emergence
  • Computation
  • Numerical modelling