The emergence of mind. A Dualistic Understanding

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Emergentism in the philosophy of mind maintains that mental phenomena are emergent over the physical ones, that is, that mental phenomena are new in comparison to their neurophysiological base. This essay tries to explain what "new" exactly means, by analyzing different emergence concepts, starting with the British Emergentists'. In a second step it tries to show that emergence can be a coherent concept iff we are ready to accept that the neurophysiological base is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for the mental dimension. In order for the mental to emerge from its biological base, a non-material dimension of reality is needed, which has to be ontologically independent and existing from the beginning of the emergent process.If emergentists intend to achieve their non-reductivist aims, emergence must be understood dualistically.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCausality. Meaningful Complexity and Embodied Cognition
EditorsArturo Carsetti
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameSeries A: Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences


  • Dualism
  • Embodied cognition
  • Emergence
  • Mind Body Problem
  • complexity

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