Rainer E. Zimmermann: Metaphysics of Emergence

​Do 15/11/2012



During the last fifteen years we can observe a progressive convergence of physics, biology, and computer science that is actually tending to go far beyond the already classical framework of physical theories of everything. This is mainly so because the problem of emergence implicit in this sort of theory building is considerably more complex than what is encountered within the development of intra-physical modelling alone. Work over the last two years has revealed essentially two main insights: First of all, as it turns out, it is in fact the metaphysical grounding of the problems involved that might prove helpful for achieving basic progress. Hence, it is thus possible to give a new modern meaning to formerly purely philosophical attitudes traditionally derived from a line of thought associated with what Schelling used to call »speculative physics«. On the other hand, recent results on the physical aspects of energy and information and their discursive representation display clearly the mediated nature of the categories of cognition and communication on the most fundamental level of reflexion. Hence, it can be shown that it is the concept of »evolutionary system« that opens up the epistemological field of possibilities once it is chosen as a leading paradigm itself.

Rainer E. Zimmermann: Professor für Philosophie an der Hochschule München; Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge (UK); gewähltes Mitglied der Internationalen Akademie für kybernetische und Systemwissenschaften (iascys) Wien.