Humeanism, Best System Laws, and Emergence

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    Abstract

    In the current article and contrary to a widespread assumption, I argue that Humeanism and ontological emergence can peacefully coexist. Such a coexistence can be established by reviving elements of John Stuart Mill’s philosophy of science, in which an idiosyncratic account of diachronic emergence is associated with extensions of the Humean mosaic and the correlative coming into being of new best system laws, which have the peculiarity of being temporally indexed. Incidentally, this reconciliation of Humeanism and emergence allows for conceiving the autonomy of the special sciences in an interesting way, consistently with the reductionist ideal of a unified science.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)719-738
    Number of pages20
    JournalPhilosophy of Science
    Volume86
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

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