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THE QUESTION CONCERNING EMERGENCE: IMPLICATIONS FOR ARTIFICIALITY
 

Summary: THE QUESTION CONCERNING EMERGENCE:
IMPLICATIONS FOR ARTIFICIALITY
S.M.Ali, R.M.Zimmer and C.M.Elstob
Brunel University
Uxbridge UB8 3PH
England (UK)
Syed.Mustafa.Ali@brunel.ac.uk
ABSTRACT
This position paper has three parts. In the first part, a brief historical background and various modern
formulations of the concept of emergence are presented. A number of problems associated with the
concept are identified. One outstanding problem involves the incommensurability of secondary
qualities (or phenomenal qualia) with materialist (externalist) ontologies. The intractability of this
problem with respect to existing scientific approaches is an indicator of ontological category error,
in this case, an attempt to subsume subjectivity into objectivity. In the second part, various attempts
at solving the mind-body problem (of which the subjectivity-objectivity issue is a modern incarnation)
are investigated and shown to be problematic. It is argued that these problems necessitate
reconsidering the metaphysical foundations upon which the concept of emergence is grounded. In the
third part, the notion of emergence is reconsidered and a new theory grounded in a synthesis of
Heideggerian and Whiteheadian metaphysics is outlined. Finally, the implications of this synthesis
for artificing (technology) are briefly considered. It is maintained that "strong" artificiality, the

  

Source: Ali, Syed Mustafa - Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology, Open University

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences