Universität Wien FIND

180061 SE Ontological and Epistemological Emergence (2021W)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung


Hinweis: Ihr Anmeldezeitpunkt innerhalb der Frist hat keine Auswirkungen auf die Platzvergabe (kein "first come, first served").


max. 25 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Digital: online course

Dienstag 12.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Dienstag 19.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Dienstag 09.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Dienstag 16.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Dienstag 23.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Dienstag 30.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Dienstag 07.12. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Dienstag 14.12. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Dienstag 11.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Dienstag 18.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Dienstag 25.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

This is an advanced introduction to the notion of emergence, and its place and role in contemporary philosophy of science. The course provides an overview of the current theories of emergence, linking them to several important philosophical notions such as physicalism, holism, and multiple realizability. The relations between scientific and philosophical conceptions of emergence are discussed, using some scientific examples as illustrations. The course focuses especially on emergence in biological sciences. Having taken this course, the student has a good overview of the various notions of emergence, understands different scientific examples of emergence, and is able to follow and participate in the philosophical discussion of emergence.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

- careful reading and active discussion of the literature
- questions in the Moodle platform
- active discussion in the Moodle platform
- (co-)chairing group discussion in the class
- final essay

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria:

- active participation (20%),
- questions and online discussion of readings (20%),
- (co-)chairing a class (10%),
- final essay (50%).
All aforementioned components of the course have to be fulfilled for the successful completion of the grade.

One unexcused absence is permitted.

Grading table
1 – (excellent) 90 – 100 points
2 – (good) 81 – 89 points
3 – (satisfactory) 71 – 80 points
4 – (sufficient) 61 – 70 points
5 – (insufficient) 0 – 60 points


The course has a final essay in English, to be submitted after the course. The instructions are given in the syllabus (Moodle), and in the class.


Readings (will be available in Moodle )

Humphreys, Paul. 2019. “Emergence.” In The Oxford Handbook in Philosophy of Science, edited by Humphreys, Paul. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199368815.013.38

Kim, Jaegwon. 2006. “Emergence: Core Ideas and Issues.” Synthese 151: 547–559.

Chalmers, David. 2006. “Strong and Weak Emergence.” In The Re-Emergence of Emergence, edited by Philip Clayton and Paul Davies 244-256. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

El-Hani, Charbel, and Sami Pihlström. 2002. “Emergence Theories and Pragmatic Realism”. Essays in Philosophy 3 (2).

Wimsatt, William. 2007. “Emergence as Non-aggregativity and the Biases of Reductionisms.” In Re-Engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings: Piecewise Approximations to Reality, 274-312. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Dupré, John. 2021. The Metaphysics of Biology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Chapters 1-4)

Kauffman, Stuart, and Philip Clayton. 2006. “On Emergence, Agency, and Organization.” Biology and Philosophy 21 (4): 501–21. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10539-005-9003-9.

Bich, Leonardo and Luisa Damiano. 2008. “Order in the Nothing: Autopoiesis and the Organizational Characterization of the Living.” In Physics of Emergence and Organization, edited by Ignazio Licata and Ammar Sakaji, 339- 370. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing.

Montévil, Maël 2018. “Possibility Spaces and the Notion of Novelty: From Music to Biology.” Synthese, 96:4 555–4581.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Letzte Änderung: Do 23.03.2023 00:20