The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion

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Dean of Claremont School of Theology Philip Clayton, Philip Clayton, Paul Davies
OUP Oxford, Jun 29, 2006 - Religion - 330 pages
Much of the modern period was dominated by a `reductionist' theory of science. On this view, to explain any event in the world is to reduce it down to fundamental particles, laws, and forces. In recent years reductionism has been dramatically challenged by a radically new paradigm called `emergence'. According to this new theory, natural history reveals the continuous emergence of novel phenomena: new structures and new organisms with new causal powers. Consciousness is yet onemore emergent level in the natural hierarchy. Many theologians and religious scholars believe that this new paradigm may offer new insights into the nature of God and God's relation to the world.This volume introduces readers to emergence theory, outlines the major arguments in its defence, and summarizes the most powerful objections against it. Written by experts but suitable as an introductory text, these essays provide the best available presentation of this exciting new field and its potentially momentous implications.
 

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Contents

1 Conceptual Foundations of Emergence Theory
1
THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES
33
THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
109
CONSCIOUSNESS AND EMERGENCE
187
RELIGION AND EMERGENCE
255
Notes on Contributors
323
Index
327
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About the author (2006)

Philip Clayton is Ingraham Professor, Claremont School of Theology; Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Claremont Graduate University. Paul Davies is Professor of Natural Philosophy, Macquarie University, Sydney.

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