Liberating Emergence: Human Dependence and Autonomy in Emergentism, Hermeneutics, and Pragmatism

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10756/337347
Title:
Liberating Emergence: Human Dependence and Autonomy in Emergentism, Hermeneutics, and Pragmatism
Authors:
Johnson, Matthew E.
Abstract:
This thesis traces a thread that runs through emergentism in analytical philosophy and the thought of five philosophers: Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Charles Taylor, John Dewey, and Richard Rorty. I suggest that the insight that connects all of these thinkers is precisely the insight that undergirds a theory of “strong emergence,” which acknowledges that in certain systems, properties emerge that exert causal influence on the system out of which they emerged. Strong emergence offers a helpful “third way” to describe human personhood that is neither reductionistic nor dualistic and maintains that the human person is both dependent upon and (within certain limits) autonomous from the system out of which it emerges. I will suggest that the hermeneutic philosophy of Heidegger, Gadamer, and Taylor clarifies the historical cultural conditions out of which the human person emerges as a critical and creative agent in a way that similarly maintains a balance between the dependence and autonomy of the human person. Dewey and Rorty, on the other hand, provide accounts of human situatedness but emphasize the creative freedom that emerges out of this situatedness, characterizing humans as artists or poets who can engage with their situatedness in novel ways. For both Dewey and Rorty, our ability to shape the future and to shape ourselves is built into our experience in the world. I will conclude that each of these five thinkers develop accounts of human personhood that resonate with strong emergence, describing how human persons are able to emerge out of their embeddedness in the world, upon which they remain ever dependent, as creative innovators.
Advisors:
Kuipers, Ronald A.
Affiliation:
Institute for Christian Studies
Publisher:
Institute for Christian Studies
Issue Date:
Aug-2014
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10756/337347
Type:
Thesis
Language:
en
Keywords:
Heidegger, Martin, 1889-1976; Gadamer, Hans Georg, 1900-2002; Taylor, Charles; Dewey, John, 1859-1952; Analytical philosophy; Hermeneutic philosophy; Emergence (Philosophy); Situation (Philosophy); Personhood; Hermeneutics--Philosophy; Embeddedness
Rights:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Rights holder:
This Work has been made available by the authority of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private study and research and may not be copied or reproduced except as permitted by the copyright laws of Canada without the written authority from the copyright owner.
Degree Title:
Master of Arts (Philosophy)
Appears in Collections:
Masters Theses

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.advisorKuipers, Ronald A.en_GB
dc.contributor.authorJohnson, Matthew E.en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2014-12-17T19:38:57Z-
dc.date.available2014-12-17T19:38:57Z-
dc.date.availableNO_RESTRICTIONen_GB
dc.date.issued2014-08-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10756/337347-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis traces a thread that runs through emergentism in analytical philosophy and the thought of five philosophers: Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Charles Taylor, John Dewey, and Richard Rorty. I suggest that the insight that connects all of these thinkers is precisely the insight that undergirds a theory of “strong emergence,” which acknowledges that in certain systems, properties emerge that exert causal influence on the system out of which they emerged. Strong emergence offers a helpful “third way” to describe human personhood that is neither reductionistic nor dualistic and maintains that the human person is both dependent upon and (within certain limits) autonomous from the system out of which it emerges. I will suggest that the hermeneutic philosophy of Heidegger, Gadamer, and Taylor clarifies the historical cultural conditions out of which the human person emerges as a critical and creative agent in a way that similarly maintains a balance between the dependence and autonomy of the human person. Dewey and Rorty, on the other hand, provide accounts of human situatedness but emphasize the creative freedom that emerges out of this situatedness, characterizing humans as artists or poets who can engage with their situatedness in novel ways. For both Dewey and Rorty, our ability to shape the future and to shape ourselves is built into our experience in the world. I will conclude that each of these five thinkers develop accounts of human personhood that resonate with strong emergence, describing how human persons are able to emerge out of their embeddedness in the world, upon which they remain ever dependent, as creative innovators.en_GB
dc.description.tableofcontentsIntroduction -- Emergence and personhood -- An ontology of indebtedness: reflecting on finitude -- Innovative individuality: re-imagining liberty -- Conclusionen_GB
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf-
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherInstitute for Christian Studiesen_GB
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licenseen_GB
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/en_GB
dc.subjectHeidegger, Martin, 1889-1976en_GB
dc.subjectGadamer, Hans Georg, 1900-2002en_GB
dc.subjectTaylor, Charlesen_GB
dc.subjectDewey, John, 1859-1952en_GB
dc.subjectAnalytical philosophyen_GB
dc.subjectHermeneutic philosophyen_GB
dc.subjectEmergence (Philosophy)en_GB
dc.subjectSituation (Philosophy)en_GB
dc.subjectPersonhooden_GB
dc.subjectHermeneutics--Philosophyen_GB
dc.subjectEmbeddednessen_GB
dc.titleLiberating Emergence: Human Dependence and Autonomy in Emergentism, Hermeneutics, and Pragmatismen
dc.typeThesisen
dc.contributor.departmentInstitute for Christian Studiesen_GB
dc.type.degreetitleMaster of Arts (Philosophy)en_GB
dc.rights.holderThis Work has been made available by the authority of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private study and research and may not be copied or reproduced except as permitted by the copyright laws of Canada without the written authority from the copyright owner.en_GB
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