CFP: Emergence, conceptual and philosophical aspects

Workshop of the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena (DIEP)

Organising committee: Jay Armas, Jeremy Butterfield, Sebastian De Haro, Klaas Landsman

Dates of the workshop: 9 to 11 of May 2019.

Deadline for the submission of abstracts: 15th of November 2018.

Description: The phenomenon of emergence seems to pervade a broad class of disciplines while simultaneously being notoriously difficult to define in precise terms. Philosophers and scientists have attempted to catalogue different aspects and distinguish between distinct types of emergent behaviour. Artists, inspired by some of these ideas, have attempted to portray it in a variety of forms. The result of this multiplicity of endeavours is far from a unified theory or common perspective on emergence. The usefulness of the notion of emergence in terms of its explanatory power and ability to provide understanding of new phenomena depends on the possibility of taming its pervasiveness. A conceptual analysis should help in giving generalized accounts of the phenomenon of emergence, to distinguish different kinds of emergence as well as to shed light on the importance of emergence for the understanding and explanation of scientific phenomena.

The workshop aims at bringing together conceptual analyses and examples of emergence in different sciences (including physics, astronomy, cosmology, chemistry, earth science, biology) in order to better understand its scientific importance. Thus, it invites contributions on any of the following questions:

· What is emergence?
· Case studies about emergence.
· Taxonomies for emergence: what kinds of emergence are there and how do they relate to each other?
· What is the logical structure of emergence?
· What is the scientific and conceptual importance of emergence?
· How does emergence explain or help understand scientific phenomena?
· How does emergence relate to other philosophical notions such as fundamentality, levels, causation, etc.?
· What is the relation between emergence and other phenomena in nature, such as self-organisation? How do those phenomena differ from emergence?

Invited speakers include:
Robert Batterman, University of Pittsburgh, philosophy.
Stephen Blundell, University of Oxford, physics.
Elena Castellani, University of Florence, philosophy.
Max Cooper (TBC), emergence artist,
Alexandre Guay, Université catholique de Louvain, philosophy.
Nigel Goldenfeld, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and NASA Astrobiology Institute, physics and biology.
Eleanor Knox, King’s College London, philosophy.
James Ladyman, University of Bristol, philosophy.
Martha Lewis, University of Amsterdam, linguistics and logic.
Angelo Vulpiani, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, physics.
Piers Coleman, Rutgers University, physics.

About DIEP: DIEP is an interdisciplinary research centre across fundamental sciences and philosophy, with the purpose of furthering the understanding of emergent phenomena. Integrated in the National Research Agenda in the Netherlands, it brings together physicists, chemists, biologists, mathematicians, and philosophers across the Netherlands and beyond. For more information, see:

How to register and apply: for registration, information and application see After registering you can also send an email with your abstract of 500 to 1,000 words to by the 15th of November 2018 with the subject line: CfP: Emergence.


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Filed under Calls for Abstracts/Papers/Contributions, Conference announcements/CFPs, wuthrich

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