Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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Reduction and Emergence in the Sciences (14-16 November, 2013)

reductionscienceheader_2013Idea and Motivation

CAS_Schw_RGB_2ReductionEm_traReduction and emergence play a central role in the relations of scientific theories and disciplines. For instance, a reducible theory is in some sense replaceable but also supported by its reducing theory. In contrast, a theory that describes emergent phenomena arguably stands alone in both respects. Unfortunately, the discussion about reduction and emergence suffers from two uncertainties at once. On the one hand the concepts of reduction and especially emergence are not precisely defined, on the other hand there are few if any uncontentious cases of reduction or emergence in the sciences. This stalemate can be overcome by a thorough analysis of relations between and within scientific theories. These relations can then serve as a basis for explications of reduction and emergence that are applicable in the sciences.

Center for Advanced Studies
Seestraße 13


 Wednesday, 13 November, 19:00h:
Stephan Hartmann, Sebastian Lutz and Karim Thébault: Reduction and Emergence in Physics. Introductory talk for a general audience.

Thursday, 14 November
09:00-10:00 Registration
10:00-10:10 Welcome
10:10-11:25 Keynote address
Margaret Morrison: The Physics of Ontological Emergence
11:25-11:55 Coffee
11:55-12:40 Alexander S. Blum and Christian Joas: From Dressed Electrons to Quasiparticles: The Emergence of Emergent Entities in Quantum Field Theory
12:40-13:50 Lunch
13:50-14:35 Wouter D'Hooghe and Sander Beckers: Dual Inheritance Theory as an Integration of Biology and the Humanities
14:40-15:25 Bert Baumgaertner and James Overton: Agent-based Models, Reduction, and Emergence
15:25-15:55 Coffee
15:55-16:40 Stefan Heidl: Intertheoretic Relations Between Economics and Psychology. The Case of Prospect Theory
16:45-18:00 Keynote address
Kevin D. Hoover: Reductionism in Economics: Causality and Intentionality in the Microfoundations of Macroeconomics
18:00 Reception


Friday, 15 November
09:00-09:45 Elanor Taylor: An Explication of Emergence
09:50-10:35 Alexandru Manafu: Inter-theoretic Relations: the Brønsted-Lowry Theory of Acids and Microphysics
10:35-11:05 Coffee
11:05-11:50 Samuel Fletcher: The Topology of Intertheoretic Reduction
11:55-12:40 Joshua Rosaler: Reduction and Emergence in Physics: a Dynamical Systems Approach
12:40-13:50 Lunch
13:50-14:35 Karen Crowther: Novelty and Autonomy as Alternatives to, or Bases for, a Conception of Emergence in Physics
14:40-15:25 Sebastian de Haro, Dennis Dieks and Jeroen van Dongen: Reduction and Emergence in Holographic Scenarios for Quantum Gravity
15:25-15:55 Coffee
15:55-16:40 Ronnie Hermens: Reversed Reduction in Gibbsian Statistical Mechanics
16:45-18:00 Keynote address
Andreas Hüttemann: Failures of Reduction in Physics and Biology
19:00 Dinner


Saturday, 16 November
09:00-09:45 Sebastian Lutz: Technical Aspects of Reduction and Non-Reductive Physicalism
09:50-10:35 Thomas Müller: How Can One and the Same Thing be Subject to Different Theories?
 On the Proper Logic for Non-Reductive Monism
10:35-11:05 Coffee
11:05-11:50 Frederik Willemarck: Heterogeneity and Emergence in the Social Sciences
11:55-12:40 Aziz F. Zambak: Synthetic Plasticity as a Computational Model of Emergence
12:40-13:50 Lunch
13:50-14:35 Marko Zivkovic: Scarecrow’s Brain and Homunculi: Neurobiological Reductionism as Ensoulment-Objectification Process Seen Through Anthropological Lenses
14:40-15:25 Peter Wyss: Emergence and Explanation
15:25-15:55 Coffee
15:55-17:10 Keynote address
Patricia S. Churchland: Cross-level Linkages in Neurobiology: Reductive Progress with Multiple Techniques


The conference is supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation through an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship and by the Center for Advanced Studies (CAS).