Book Discussion Group

Fall 2022 Book Reading Group

Fridays 12-1:15pm
September 23, October 7, October 21, November 4, November 18, December 2
MCPS Library, 737 Heller Hall and on Zoom

Metaphysical Emergence by Jessica M Wilson

An electronic version of this book is available from the University of Minnesota Libraries.

Neal Jahren will lead a bi-weekly interdisciplinary discussion on Jessica M Wilson's recent book, Metaphysical Emergence (Oxford, 2021), which presents a systematic and unified approach to issues surrounding emergent properties and phenomena as being metaphysically distinct from the base phenomena on which they depend.  Her account is based on a causal powers metaphysics and draws primarily from physics.

A review of the book is available here.

Graduate students, postdocs, and faculty from all disciplines are welcome and encouraged to participate. Email Neal Jahren or for more information.


September 23: Chapter 1 (pp. 1-38) Key issues and questions

October 7: Chapter 2 (pp. 39-74) Two schemas for metaphysical emergence

October 21: Chapter 3 (pp. 75-119) The viability of Weak emergence

November 4: Chapter 4 (pp. 120-154) The viability of Strong emergence

November 18: Chapter 7 (pp. 214-251) Consciousness

December 2: Chapter 8 (pp. 252-281) Free will


Previous Book Discussions

Summer 2022

Alan Love and Ben McMyler led a bi-weekly interdisciplinary discussion on Kim Sterelny's recent book, The Pleistocene Social Contract (April 2021), which presents a novel evolutionary framework for understanding the evolution of human cooperation and its evolutionary relationship to human cultural learning.


June 24: Chapter 1 (pp. 1-34)

July 8: Chapter 1 (pp. 34-53)

July 22: Chapter 2 (pp. 54-92)

August 5: Chapter 3 (pp. 93-123)