Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Emergence and the Sorites

Hold the phone: I was slightly in error in my post on Nathan Brown and emergence.

There is a deeper, more OOO reason why emergence is in trouble. This has to do with how emergence is a sensual object.

Nathan's emergence is only a problem if you cling to demonstrably brittle logics such as Russell-Frege. It's a Sorites problem that shows how you can never quite catch emergence in the act. You can never specify exactly when life emerges from non-life.

The problem is seriously mitigated if you adopt any number of paraconsistent logics. It goes away entirely if you are a dialetheist for whom p can also be not p without trivialism.




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