Synchronic vs. diachronic emergence: a reappraisal

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    In this paper, I put forward a benchmark account of emergence in terms of non-explainability and explicate the relationship that exists between its synchronic and diachronic declinations. I develop an argument whose conclusion is that emergence is essentially a “two-faceted” notion, i.e. it always encapsulates both synchronic and diachronic dimensions. I then compare this account with alternative recent accounts of (diachronic) emergence that define the concept through the notion of unpredictability or topological non-equivalence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-54
    Number of pages24
    JournalEuropean Journal for Philosophy of Science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Chaos
    • Constitutive explanation
    • Determinism
    • Diachronic emergence
    • Etiological explanation
    • Synchronic emergence
    • Topological equivalence
    • Unpredictability


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