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Ontological Emergence Without Vertical Causation

  • Soo Lam WongEmail author
Original Paper


In this essay, I aim to address the two related problems faced by ontological emergence and propose a solution. First, I shall briefly outline the concept of emergence, the distinction between ontological and epistemological emergence, as well as the distinction between synchronic and diachronic emergence, and focus mainly on synchronic ontological emergence. Second, I shall discuss the two related problems faced by synchronic ontological emergence—configurational forces and downward causation. Third, I shall present a solution to these problems—affirming ontological emergence but denying vertical causation. Last, I shall address objections to the ontological emergence without vertical causation view.


Emergence Ontological Synchronic Configurational forces Downward causation 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for University CoreSingapore University of Social SciencesSingaporeSingapore

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