Downward Causation

Minds, Bodies and Matter

edited by

Peter Bøgh Andersen, Claus Emmeche, Niels Ole Finnemann and Peder Voetmann Christiansen

Århus: Aarhus University Press, 2000.
(ISBN 87 7288 814 1).




Complex global patterns of behavior can often be explained by simple interactions: for example, the complex shifting patterns of flocking birds can be generated by interactions involving only rules of movement for each bird and its immediate neighbors.
    But can the large-scale patterns re-influence the local interactions that generated them? Is there an influence downward from the whole to its parts?
    Does the cell reorganize the biochemical processes inside it in a new way? Do psychosomatic illnesses exist? Is the so-called hermeneutic circle real? Should we interpret higher-level phenomena as indicating a new ontological layer with its own units or laws? Are there special substances of life, mind and meaning? Can life change biochemical laws? Can mind change the body?
    The authors of the fourteen chapters address these intriguing questions from different viewpoints: physics, biology, psychology, systems science, linguistics, and philosophy. The contributors are from Denmark, USA, Spain and Brazil.


(About the picture, see below).



Contents

Preface    (p.5)

Contents    (p.9)

   Part I -- Introduction

Chapter 1:
Levels, Emergence, and Three Versions of Downward Causation
CLAUS EMMECHE, SIMO KØPPE & FREDERIK STJERNFELT    (p. 13-34)

   Part 2 -- Physics

Chapter 2:
Wholeness and Part, Cosmos and man -- in 16th and 17th Century Natural Philosophy and in Modern Holism
TOVE KRUSE    (p. 37-50)

Chapter 3:
Macro and Micro-Levels in Physics
PEDER VOETMANN CHRISTIANSEN    (p. 51-62)

Chapter 4:
Causation, Control, and the Evolution of Complexity
H. H. PATTEE    (p. 63-77)

   Part 3 -- Biology and Psychology

Chapter 5:
Psychosomatics and the Pineal Gland
SIMO KØPPE    (p. 81-98)

Chapter 6:
Downward Causation at the Core of Living Organization
ALVARO MORENO & JON UMEREZ    (p. 99-117)

Chapter 7:
Higher-level Descriptions: Why Should we Preserve them?
CHARBEL NIÑO EL-HANI & ANTONIO MARCOS PEREIRA    (p. 118-142)

Chapter 8:
The Changes is Afoot: Emergentist Thinking in Language Acquisition
GEORGE HOLLICH, KATHY HIRSH-PASEK, MICHAEL L. TUCKER & ROBERTA M. GOLINKOFF    (p. 143-178)

   Part 4 -- Social and Communicative Systems

Chapter 9:
Material Sign Processes and Emergent Ecosocial Organization
J. L. LEMKE    (p. 181-213)

Chapter 10:
Genres as Self-Organising Systems
PETER BØGH ANDERSEN    (p. 214-260)

Chapter 11:
Anticipated Downward Causation and the Arch Structure of Texts
OLE TOGEBY    (p. 261-277)

Chapter 12:
Rule-based and Rule-generating Systems
NIELS OLE FINNEMANN    (p. 278-302)

   Part 5 -- Philosophy

Chapter 13:
Making Sense of Downward Causation
JAEGWON KIM    (p. 305-321)

Chapter 14:
Emergence
MARK H. BICKHARD with DONALD T. CAMPBELL    (p. 322-348)

Contributors    (p.349)

Author Index    (p.351)


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The picture above is by the German-American-French dadaist and surrealist painter Max Ernst (1891-1976) and is called "L'invention" (or "l'oiseau de l'infini") [reproduction of a collage (S/M 440), 10.9 x 8.3 cm]. Source: p. 45 in: The Lufthansa Collection: Max Ernst. Prints and Books. With an introduction by Werner Spies. Published by Deutsche Lufthansa AG, 1991, Verlag Gerd Hatje, Stuttgart (and in that Lufthansa book, the picture was taken from Paul Eluard, Répétitions - Dessins de Max Ernst, 1922, Au Sans Pareil, Paris, 1922).
(Originally we intended this picture to figure as the front piece of Downward Causation, but accidentally the front piece came to be more traditional - C.E.).