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Emergence and Convergence: Qualitative Novelty and the Unity of Knowledge (Toronto Studies in Philosophy) Hardcover – December 13, 2003
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The first main theme of this book is emergence (or strong emergence). The thesis, contested by some philosophers, is that a system can possess properties that none of its components possesses. These properties are said to be emergent. How properties emerge amounts to asking how things with emergent properties arise, which boils down to the problem of emergence mechanisms. Example of emergence: molecules, life, mind, social norms, state.
The second main theme of the book is convergence of scientific knowledge by reduction of one discipline to another, or integration of disciplines. Examples of the latter: biophysics, evolutionary development biology, cognitive neuroscience, social medicine, economic demography, political sociology.
Bunge claims that partial reductionism (micro-reductionism) is often successful, but full reductionism seldom is.
Throughout the book the author makes a case for systematic (in contrast to individualistic or holistic) approach to science. Though hardly an issue in the natural sciences, the systematic approach in the social sciences is often lacking. He strongly argues for an integration of the social sciences by claiming that every social fact has five different but closely linked aspects: environmental, biopsychological, economic, political, and cultural.Read more ›
So very happy with this reprint
Herman, psychiatrist from Holland
Since Bunge views the world as a system of systems, the entire book unfolds within a framework of systemism, which subscribes to the following:
1. Systemism spans and reconciles holism and reductionism, and also bridges and elaborates the gap between them
2. Ontologically, everything is either a system of a component of one, where a system is a Composition of its constituents
3. Epistemologically, every parcel of knowledge is or ought to become a member of a conceptual system, such a theory
4. A system has well-defined boundaries, at which interaction with its enclosing Environment occurs
5.Read more ›