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On the "rights" of Nature

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Greta
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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by Greta » May 20th, 2019, 11:04 pm

GE Morton wrote:
May 19th, 2019, 9:09 pm
Greta wrote:
May 19th, 2019, 5:53 pm

BTW, you are 100% wrong and made a newbie error. Humans in the corporations already have rights. You are double-dipping human rights - again.
Well, it's clear that you are determined not to even acknowledge, much less refute, the points made in several previous posts. There is no "double-dipping." To repeat: a corporation and its members are one and the same.
That's just projection. The point is that corporations are NOT the same as their members. A corporation - for the, I think fifth time, including others here - is an abstract legal entity. Its humans are interchangeable.

Increasingly the humans in corporations are being replaced by the machines, and in time there will be corporations that are entirely controlled by machines. Do you think that more computerised corporations will have fewer rights than those with many more human parts? No, almost completely mechanised corporations will have the same power - although sans the (relatively trifling) rights of its individuals.


GE Morton wrote:
May 19th, 2019, 9:09 pm
Given that you are entirely political and not at all philosophical, and most certainly not politically liberal, why should you care?
Oh, but I am. You probably don't know what a "liberal" is. Or rather, you assume the contemporary re-definition coined by the Left. Classically, a political "liberal" was an advocate of political freedom. Freedom from what? Well, freedom from State power, from government interference in people's lives, and infringements of their natural rights. The word "liberal" derives from the Latin liber, meaning "free". It is the same root as "liberty," "liberate," etc. But since leftists are anything but advocates of freedom, they have re-defined the term to denote advocacy of . . . State power!
More projection. Typically naive, political and anti-philosophical.

Did you know that power abhors a vacuum? What happens when governments are neutered and rendered irrelevant? You are too blinded by your desperate ideology to notice - just as long as those dweadful socialists don't get in, eh? You claim to promote freedom but the product you are selling us is actually modern fascism driven by corporations, the largest of them being the Chinese and Russian governments.

In lieu of government, other large powers take over the regulatory function. Do you think that will be "freedom"?

Unlike governments, corporations don't need to pretend to be anything but self-interested. They will be able to implement controls that harm people and there will nothing anyone can do about it. For them only shareholders matter, now that three of the quadruple bottom lines have been trimmed off. So easy - just trim off the morality from a corporation like the tatty hem of a shirt.

Look at how "happy" the world is today since world politics swung sharply to the right. People have not been this miserable since WWII - depression and suicide have not been higher, not even proportionally. Misery is the fruit of your political ideology and its close relatives.

What the world needs is more centrist governance - operating with logic rather than ideology. That would require a seismic shift to the left after five decades moving to the right. Alas, that won't happen. Your tribe has won, GE.

I hope you enjoy this global situation you have helped to create, billions of miserable, stressed people - with depression and suicide rife - poised atop dying nature and the biggest economic bubble in human history. Well done!

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by GE Morton » May 22nd, 2019, 11:50 am

Greta wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 11:04 pm

That's just projection. The point is that corporations are NOT the same as their members. A corporation - for the, I think fifth time, including others here - is an abstract legal entity. Its humans are interchangeable.
A "projection"? What does that mean?

But you're merely repeating claims that have been soundly refuted:

1. You're continuing to falsely call corporations "abstract," when they are concrete and precisely and specifically defined. As I said before, there is nothing "abstract" about Amazon or Boeing (or the Sierra Club or Greenpeace, which are also corporations).

2. You're continuing to claim that because corporations are open groups ("it's humans are interchangeable") that somehow makes them non-human. Which is silly. A corporation, or any other open group, consists of of its members at any given time. That members come and go does not make the group non-human, "abstract," or devoid of rights.

3. You're continuing to claim that corporations are "legal entities." That is true, but that only means that those groups are recognized and regulated by law. Every person, every business, and many other types of groups and organizations (families, marriages, partnerships, labor unions, charitable organizations, religious organizations, etc., etc., are also "legal entities." That does not mean they are not people. They are all constituted of people, and nothing else. All of the work they do is done by people, all of the capital they hold is contributed by people, all of the profits they earn are distributed to people --- to the people who constitute them.

You wish to deny corporations rights, and realize that to do that you have to de-humanize them --- to reject the obvious fact that they are groups of people, and pretend that any rights you deny them will be not be denials of the rights of their members. But since those are the only rights a corporation has, that cannot be done.
Increasingly the humans in corporations are being replaced by the machines, and in time there will be corporations that are entirely controlled by machines. Do you think that more computerised corporations will have fewer rights than those with many more human parts? No, almost completely mechanised corporations will have the same power - although sans the (relatively trifling) rights of its individuals.
Machines will not be replacing the stockholders. The rights of a 100% automated corporation will be the rights of the owners of those machines.
Did you know that power abhors a vacuum? What happens when governments are neutered and rendered irrelevant?
I haven't argued that governments should be neutered and rendered irrelevant. They have a small, but crucial, role to play in civilized societies, namely, securing its citizens' rights. That is the role assigned to government by such classical liberals as Hobbes, Locke, Thomas Jefferson, etc. In the US Declaration of Independence Jefferson wrote, "All men . . . are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights . . . that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men . . ."
You are too blinded by your desperate ideology to notice - just as long as those dweadful socialists don't get in, eh?
Well, socialists not only envision a far larger role for government than securing its citizens' rights, the many additional powers they seek violate those rights. Of course, they claim to be securing rights, but the "rights" they seek to secure are fiat rights, conjured from thin air by them, not the natural rights understood by the classical liberals.
Unlike governments, corporations don't need to pretend to be anything but self-interested. They will be able to implement controls that harm people and there will nothing anyone can do about it. For them only shareholders matter, now that three of the quadruple bottom lines have been trimmed off. So easy - just trim off the morality from a corporation like the tatty hem of a shirt.
Corporations have no power to implement any controls, other than over their own actions and property (just as any other person). Making sure those actions do not harm people is a legitimate function of government.
Look at how "happy" the world is today since world politics swung sharply to the right. People have not been this miserable since WWII - depression and suicide have not been higher, not even proportionally. Misery is the fruit of your political ideology and its close relatives.
Well, that is a strange claim, given that, globally, poverty rates are lower than they have ever been, and life expectancies are the highest they've ever been.

As for suicide rates, your claim appears to be false:

"The [US] suicide rate increased 33 percent from 1999 through 2017, from 10.5 to 14 suicides per 100,000 people (NCHS Data Brief No. 330, November 2018). Rates have increased more sharply since 2006. Suicide ranks as the fourth leading cause of death for people ages 35 to 54, and the second for 10- to 34-year-olds. It remains the 10th leading cause of death overall.

But it’s a different story in other parts of the world. Over roughly the same period, other countries have seen rates fall, including Japan, China, Russia and most of Western Europe. What is going wrong on our shores—and what lessons can we import from elsewhere?"

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/03/trends-suicide

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by Greta » May 22nd, 2019, 8:06 pm

GE Morton wrote:
May 22nd, 2019, 11:50 am
Greta wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 11:04 pm
That's just projection. The point is that corporations are NOT the same as their members. A corporation - for the, I think fifth time, including others here - is an abstract legal entity. Its humans are interchangeable.
A "projection"? What does that mean?

But you're merely repeating claims that have been soundly refuted:
You do disingenuous quite well.

Re: suicides. They are based on a personal hope v circumstance calculation. The trick is to remove the false hope from the little people of the American/Australian/Italian etc Dream. Those rags to riches dreams are possible via sport or media but they are as rare winning the lottery. Once people accept their role as chattel, then they become more content within their reduced worldview.

I previously just wasted an hour demolishing your partisan corporate apologia again, but deleted it. For some reason you think shareholders of giant tax-dodging corporations are free agents, that they make free decisions. Again, you cling to naive theory over reality. Shareholders too must obey the algorithms set out by corporate policies and they are now mostly incapable of voting against immoral profiteering. The triple and quadruple bottom lines have been pared away to leave just profit again. After all, if we don't selfishly destroy [x] then our competitors will do it. It's a race to the bottom.

It doesn't matter, you don't "listen", or can't. This forum is apparently just a platform for your partisan right wing campaigns that you tirelessly fill with variations of your usual corporation cheerleading and anti-nature rationalisations.


So let's cut to the chase of our disagreements. Do you consider these situations to be satisfactory?

1.
The eight wealthiest individuals in the world own as much as the poorest half of humanity, and the gap between rich and poor is widening, a study by Oxfam International finds.
https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news ... population

2.
The world has lost a third of its arable land due to erosion or pollution in the past 40 years, with potentially disastrous consequences as global demand for food soars, scientists have warned.

New research has calculated that nearly 33% of the world's adequate or high-quality food-producing land has been lost at a rate that far outstrips the pace of natural processes to replace diminished soil.
https://www.businessinsider.com/earth-h ... 15-12?IR=T

3.
Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely,
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopme ... ed-report/

4.
The projections they want to draw attention to are used by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the authors of the study suggest the data that the IPCC uses is based on inaccurate economic models.

The projected economic damage, which will affect the southern United States much more seriously than the north, is already daunting: 30 percent of GDP destroyed, and a world cost of $535 trillion by the end of this century using existing climate/economic models.
https://bigthink.com/brandon-weber/new- ... -estimates

If you do think the above situations are satisfactory, why?

If you don't, what do you think should be done about these things without behaving like a "leftist"?

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by GE Morton » May 23rd, 2019, 10:23 am

Greta wrote:
May 22nd, 2019, 8:06 pm

Re: suicides. They are based on a personal hope v circumstance calculation. The trick is to remove the false hope from the little people of the American/Australian/Italian etc Dream. Those rags to riches dreams are possible via sport or media but they are as rare winning the lottery. Once people accept their role as chattel, then they become more content within their reduced worldview.
A "personal hope v circumstance calculation"? How does one quantify personal hope? In any case, the data refute your claim that "suicides have not been higher."
It doesn't matter, you don't "listen", or can't. This forum is apparently just a platform for your partisan right wing campaigns that you tirelessly fill with variations of your usual corporation cheerleading and anti-nature rationalisations.


So let's cut to the chase of our disagreements. Do you consider these situations to be satisfactory?

1.
The eight wealthiest individuals in the world own as much as the poorest half of humanity, and the gap between rich and poor is widening, a study by Oxfam International finds.
. . .
Well, those are fair questions which I'd be happy to answer in a different thread (or perhaps on a different forum). But the "gap between rich and poor," losses of arable land, etc., have no bearing on the philosophical questions of this thread, i.e., what kinds of entities can have rights. That is a question you need to answer before proposing answers to your questions.

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by Greta » May 23rd, 2019, 6:38 pm

To reiterate: your thread was not about questioning rights but disputing giving rights to the non-human, aside from corporations (legal entities that you spuriously class as human because they contain human resources). I still maintain that the individuals of the corporation already have the same individual rights as everyone else. Thus, the corporations which contain the people do not need rights over and above that.

As things stand, everyone else needs to watch their rights as corporations increase and exert their power.

Your thread's intention was simply a partisan push against the "leftist", "socialist" environmental movement. Apologism for Trump and his environmental irresponsibility. You show no interest in exploring the notion of rights other than reinforcing your partisan views.

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by GE Morton » May 23rd, 2019, 7:20 pm

Greta wrote:
May 23rd, 2019, 6:38 pm
To reiterate: your thread was not about questioning rights but disputing giving rights to the non-human . . .
The subject of the second clause is an instance of the first.
I still maintain that the individuals of the corporation already have the same individual rights as everyone else.
Ok, let's start with that.

1. Alfie, Bruno, Chauncey have certain rights, including the rights to speak. Agreed?

2. Alfie, Bruno, Chauncey decide to pool their money and open a pub. They invest $25,000 each. Do they still have a right to speak?

3. They file incorporation papers with the State, creating "ABC Pubs, LLC." Do they still have a right to speak?

4. They hire Dudley as CEO of ABC Pubs, LLC. Alfie, Bruno, Chauncey constitute the board of directors. They authorize Dudley to speak on their behalf on matters concerning ABC Pubs. They also authorize him to contract for a few billboards advertising their pub. Do they still have that right?

5. What right do you imagine ABC Pubs, LLC, has that are not the rights of Alfie, Bruno, and Chauncey?

Please answer those questions.
Thus, the corporations which contain the people do not need rights over and above that.
I agree, and have said so several times. Nor does it have any. BTW, corporations don't "contain" people. They consist of people. If the constituent people cease to exist so does the corporation. If Alfie, Bruno, and Chauncey are all killed in a plane crash ABC Pubs, LLC, ceases to exist. A probate court will appoint a trustee to sell off whatever assets it had and will distribute the proceeds to Alfie, Bruno, and Chauncey's heirs (after paying off any outstanding debts).

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by Greta » May 24th, 2019, 5:31 pm

GE Morton wrote:
May 23rd, 2019, 7:20 pm
Greta wrote:
May 23rd, 2019, 6:38 pm
To reiterate: your thread was not about questioning rights but disputing giving rights to the non-human . . .
The subject of the second clause is an instance of the first.
I still maintain that the individuals of the corporation already have the same individual rights as everyone else.
Ok, let's start with that.

1. Alfie, Bruno, Chauncey have certain rights, including the rights to speak. Agreed?

2. Alfie, Bruno, Chauncey decide to pool their money and open a pub. They invest $25,000 each. Do they still have a right to speak?

3. They file incorporation papers with the State, creating "ABC Pubs, LLC." Do they still have a right to speak?

4. They hire Dudley as CEO of ABC Pubs, LLC. Alfie, Bruno, Chauncey constitute the board of directors. They authorize Dudley to speak on their behalf on matters concerning ABC Pubs. They also authorize him to contract for a few billboards advertising their pub. Do they still have that right?

5. What right do you imagine ABC Pubs, LLC, has that are not the rights of Alfie, Bruno, and Chauncey?
Terrible example. I note that you chose a small business rather than a multinational corporation. You don't have a grandfather's axe situation with a small business started by three beer lovin' buddies.

I loved how you chose a business to evoke sympathy :lol: - the l'il ole battler making good despite ignorant attacks by "innasiddi" elites. When do you plan to go into politics? You surely belong there more than in philosophy.

Now, away from your political games and to reality"

How many pubs do you know of that have a greater revenue stream than the GDP of a small country?

How many pubs never have to pay tax, despite making billions of dollars profit?

How many pubs induce leaders of nations to intervene on their behalf of their investments against the protests of the people?

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by GE Morton » May 24th, 2019, 6:18 pm

Greta wrote:
May 24th, 2019, 5:31 pm

How many pubs do you know of that have a greater revenue stream than the GDP of a small country?

How many pubs never have to pay tax, despite making billions of dollars profit?

How many pubs induce leaders of nations to intervene on their behalf of their investments against the protests of the people?
Ah, another evasion. Surely you can see that the size and earnings of a corporation have no bearing on the questions of whether corporations are people and have rights.

Let me remind you of the subject of the thread: it is, "Do Nature and corporations have rights?" It is not, "What sins do corporations commit?"

Please cease deflecting, dodging, and ignoring the questions and answer them, Greta.

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by Greta » May 24th, 2019, 7:29 pm

GE Morton wrote:
May 24th, 2019, 6:18 pm
Greta wrote:
May 24th, 2019, 5:31 pm

How many pubs do you know of that have a greater revenue stream than the GDP of a small country?

How many pubs never have to pay tax, despite making billions of dollars profit?

How many pubs induce leaders of nations to intervene on their behalf of their investments against the protests of the people?
Ah, another evasion. Surely you can see that the size and earnings of a corporation have no bearing on the questions of whether corporations are people and have rights.

Let me remind you of the subject of the thread: it is, "Do Nature and corporations have rights?" It is not, "What sins do corporations commit?"

Please cease deflecting, dodging, and ignoring the questions and answer them, Greta.
Your rhetorical game playing knows no bounds. You have avoided answering all of my questions and now there's a huge song and dance about me not playing your game.

Why directly answer questions your mindless line of Dorothy Dixers - obvious yeses - as if that proved your ill-conceived points. Go stick your games where the sun don't shine.

I have made it very clear that a giant corp is not the same as a personal club or small business. You apparently cannot see the difference looking through your right wing goggles.

After a certain amount of growth an organisation will effectively take on a life (and interests) of its own, and these are over and above any and all of the replaceable human resources that make up part of its structure. This is obvious to anyone paying attention.

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by GE Morton » May 24th, 2019, 8:06 pm

Greta wrote:
May 24th, 2019, 7:29 pm

Why directly answer questions your mindless line of Dorothy Dixers - obvious yeses . . .
Thanks. Since you now agree than some corporations have rights (because the people who constitute them do), you must now retreat to claiming that that corporations lose their rights when they exceed a certain size:
I have made it very clear that a giant corp is not the same as a personal club or small business . . . After a certain amount of growth an organisation will effectively take on a life (and interests) of its own . . .
You now have to explain just what size triggers that extinction, and why a group of 3 people has rights, but a group of 100, 1000, 10,000 does not.

A corporation, regardless of size, has no "interests of its own," Greta, i.e., distinct from those of its people. The only interests properly attributable to it are those of its stockholders, though its managers and other employees may sometimes act in pursuit of their own interests, despite their fiduciary duties to act on behalf of the stockholders. In any case, its actions are always taken by people, in pursuit of the interests of people.

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by Greta » May 25th, 2019, 7:41 pm

GE Morton wrote:
May 24th, 2019, 8:06 pm
Greta wrote:
May 24th, 2019, 7:29 pm

Why directly answer questions your mindless line of Dorothy Dixers - obvious yeses . . .
Thanks. Since you now agree than some corporations have rights (because the people who constitute them do), you must now retreat to claiming that that corporations lose their rights when they exceed a certain size:
I have made it very clear that a giant corp is not the same as a personal club or small business . . . After a certain amount of growth an organisation will effectively take on a life (and interests) of its own . . .
You now have to explain just what size triggers that extinction, and why a group of 3 people has rights, but a group of 100, 1000, 10,000 does not.

A corporation, regardless of size, has no "interests of its own," Greta, i.e., distinct from those of its people. The only interests properly attributable to it are those of its stockholders, though its managers and other employees may sometimes act in pursuit of their own interests, despite their fiduciary duties to act on behalf of the stockholders. In any case, its actions are always taken by people, in pursuit of the interests of people.
Children, today's lesson in rhetorical games is the "gotcha". The trick is to put together some irrelevant scenarios, gain a a yes/no opinion on them, and then present this as your opponent's sum total view. A sardonic "thank you" or the breezier "thanks" adds an extra illusion of control.

Alas, your mastery of rhetorical illusions and games is not matched by a similar interest in philosophy, or even logic or reason.

Again ... little people and small groups and small business are not at all like corporations just as prions are not at all like mammals. You see, in nature there is a phenomenon called "emergence". When things aggregate and order themselves sufficiently then they gain emergent qualities. Synergies occur. The entity becomes something else. That is why you are not a blob of wet carbonised goop but an entire living, breathing human dedicated to spreading naive one-eyed ideological nonsense.

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by GE Morton » May 25th, 2019, 9:39 pm

Greta wrote:
May 25th, 2019, 7:41 pm

When things aggregate and order themselves sufficiently then they gain emergent qualities. Synergies occur. The entity becomes something else.
No, Greta, they don't. Not most things. Emergent properties appear only in very few, very large systems (systems with billions or trillions of interacting elements). A large corporation has no properties qualitatively different from those of a small one, and no properties not directly reducible to those of their members (other than statistical ones). A team of six horses can pull a heavier wagon than a single horse, but its pulling power is simply the sum of that of the individual horses.

"If we were pressed to give a definition of emergence, we could say that a property is emergent if it is a novel property of a system or an entity that arises when that system or entity has reached a certain level of complexity and that, even though it exists only insofar as the system or entity exists, it is distinct from the properties of the parts of the system from which it emerges."

https://www.iep.utm.edu/emergenc/

I'd suggest you read that essay and other discussions of emergence. You're applying it erroneously to something to which it doesn't apply, in order to justify denying corporations rights.

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by Greta » May 26th, 2019, 12:53 am

GE Morton wrote:
May 25th, 2019, 9:39 pm
Greta wrote:
May 25th, 2019, 7:41 pm

When things aggregate and order themselves sufficiently then they gain emergent qualities. Synergies occur. The entity becomes something else.
No, Greta, they don't. Not most things. Emergent properties appear only in very few, very large systems (systems with billions or trillions of interacting elements). A large corporation has no properties qualitatively different from those of a small one, and no properties not directly reducible to those of their members (other than statistical ones). A team of six horses can pull a heavier wagon than a single horse, but its pulling power is simply the sum of that of the individual horses.
You have made it clear you have zero idea what emergence is. Mr Politics sure isn't Mr Science.

Emergence is everywhere, happening all the time. Emergence is how we, and everything else, came to be - we emerged from simpler systems. We are all not just an aggregation of atoms, not just or cells, nor just of organs or microbial communities. Unless of course you believe we all magicked up from a big spirit man as posited by the vast majority of your hard right political allies?

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by Steve3007 » May 26th, 2019, 7:09 am

I've dipped into the conversation and found an interesting little aside here between GE Morton and Greta about the definition/nature of emergence.

One comment I have on this:
GE Morton wrote:Emergent properties appear only in very few, very large systems (systems with billions or trillions of interacting elements). A large corporation has no properties qualitatively different from those of a small one, and no properties not directly reducible to those of their members (other than statistical ones). A team of six horses can pull a heavier wagon than a single horse, but its pulling power is simply the sum of that of the individual horses.
I don't agree with the part that says "other than statistical ones", if the implication is that statistical properties are not emergent properties. The classic examples are the statistical laws of Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics. These laws can be derived from a statistical consideration of the underlying laws of mechanics (classical and quantum respectively), but they are definitely qualitatively different from them, I would say.

I don't think there is any hard dividing line on the scale of complexity at which point we can say: "below this level there can be no emergent properties and above this level there can." It seems reasonable to me to look at a complex system like a large corporation or a city or a country, consisting of many individual people, and talk of it having emergent properties. Being theoretically derivable from a statistical analysis of the constituent people doesn't necessarily stop this from being so. Similarly, physical laws like the (always of interest in philosophical discussions) second law of thermodynamics are derivable from consideration of the movements of large numbers of interacting particles. But I'd say they're definitely qualitatively different from the billiard ball mechanics of those particles; they add something genuinely philosophically new.

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Re: On the "rights" of Nature

Post by Steve3007 » May 26th, 2019, 7:23 am

I think this is one interesting passage from the article about emergence cited above:

"Robert Batterman (2002), who focuses on emergence in physics, also believes that emergent phenomena are common in our everyday experience of the physical world. According to Batterman, what is at the heart of the question of emergence is not downward causation or the distinctness of emergent properties, but rather inter-theoretic reduction and, specifically, the limits of the explanatory power of reducing theories. Thus, a property is emergent, according to this view, if it is a property of a complex system at limit values that cannot be derived from lower level, more fundamental theories. As examples of emergent phenomena Batterman cites phase transitions and transitions of magnetic materials from ferromagnetic states to paramagnetic states, phenomena in which novel behavior is exhibited that cannot be reductively explained by the more fundamental theories of statistical mechanics. However, Batterman wants to distinguish explanation from reduction and so claims that though emergent phenomena are irreducible they are not unexplainable per se because they can have non-reductive explanations."

It seems like a pretty good definition of emergence to tie it to the extent to which higher level theories can in practice be reduced to lower level theories. I emphasize "in practice" because, unless we depart from the principles of Science altogether, it's always possible to derive the higher from the lower in principle, or in theory. But, as the Chaos theorists emphasize, complexity and sensitive dependencies on small changes, and the barrier this places between the lower and higher level theories is a genuine physical phenomenon and not just a nuisance.

The unpredictability of long range weather forecasting (for example) is not just an annoying limitation of current measurement technology. It will always be there.

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