Jan 2021

Emergence: from physics to biology – Science & More Talk

University of Turin

January 27, 2021

Science & More Talk

Erica Onnis (University of Turin), Emergence 

Abstract. The twofold aim of this talk is to introduce the debate about emergence and provide examples of emergent phenomena occurring in the physical, chemical, and biological domains. The talk is divided into three parts. In the first one, I present the notion of emergence and what can be called its “Standard View”. In the second part, I provide some examples of emergent phenomena occurring in physics (emergent spacetime and quantum decay), chemistry (molecular geometry), and biology (the pigmentation patterns of Timon lepidus and some features of ant colonies). From the examination of these examples, it follows that emergence is a highly heterogeneous phenomenon whose features depend upon the ontological domain in which it appears. For these reasons, in the third part, I briefly suggest revising and broadening the Standard View in light of a more pluralist property cluster theory of emergence.