Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 6 of 22)

0041 Here is another picture of Tabaczek’s mirror.  The empirio-schematic side gazes into the noumenal side.  The Aristotelian side gazes into the science side.  Well, maybe the word, “gazes”, in insufficient.  Perhaps, the term, “projects into”, is more insightful.

Both sides express the characteristics of Peirce’s secondness.  Each side has two contiguous real elements.

0042 Now, I want to ask a not-so obvious question, “If Tabaczek’s dispositional metaphysics vaporizes the modern positivist intellect for even a standard case of natural science, such as the orthograde (spontaneous) combustion of hydrogen and oxygen gases, then why does he need to wrestle with the issue of emergence?”

I suspect the answer comes from the ghost that the science side sees in Tabaczek’s mirror.

Here is a picture.

0043 The slogan on the right may be attributed to the philosopher, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804 AD), in a sloppy academic manner.  That is one of the beauties of slogans.  Slogans are always sloppy in a satisfying sort of way.  If a noumenon [cannot be objectified as] its phenomena, then why worry about the thing itself?  Scientists routinely ignore the thing itself.  Some scientists are even hostile to noumena and indignant when metaphysicians wonder about them.

0044 Tabaczek touches upon this awkwardness in section, titled “Scientific Realism”.

He writes (more or less), “Scientific realism is embraced by the vast majority of philosophers of science, who assume that our best models correctly describe observable, measurable, and mind-independent aspects of reality.  As such, if a model replaces its corresponding noumenon, then so much the better.”

Against triumphalist science, where a model gets placed on the throne of the thing itself, Kant reminds us that models can be wrong.  So, Kant’s slogan protects the integrity of the thing itself against the assumption that the model is the only point of illumination in the Positivist’s judgment.

0045 But, there is a drawback.

Kant retains the integrity of the noumenon at the cost of fixing the definition of phenomena.  Phenomena are defined as the observable and measurable facets of the thing itself.  So, the what is of phenomena (in the Positivist’s judgment) is strongly coupled to the what is of observations and measurements in the empirio-schematic judgment.  This couplingconstructs a tautology that preserves the positivist intellect.

0046 This drawback should be nullified when Tabaczek argues that the noumenon is the encountered thing and its phenomena manifest the thing’s dispositions and powers.

The positivist intellect should vaporize.

But, positivist intellect turns into a ghost.

The ghost clouds what the science side sees in Tabaczek’s mirror.

So, Tabaczek turns to the field of emergence, where science does not readily overlay a model onto the noumenon of emergent phenomena.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 7 of 22)

0047 Let me go through the previous argument using the ongoing example.

Here is the science side looking at its own reflection (in the mirror of philosophy… er… theology).

First, when a scientist looks into Tabaczek’s mirror, he covers the noumenon with the illumination of an appropriate model.  Here, the noumenon is simply a recapitulation of the model of a balanced chemical reaction.  This is typical for triumphalist… er… college-level laboratory science classes.  If hydrogen and oxygen are combined in the laboratory, the phenomenon is an explosion.  The explosion does not objectify the chemical reaction.  Rather, the phenomenon is an observable and measurable facet of the chemical reaction.

I suppose that, in theory, hydrogen and oxygen gases can react without producing an explosion.


Perhaps, the scientist has an insight.  The explosion merely is a manifestation of the release of free energy when the reagents react.  Perhaps, if a technologist alters conditions, some of that free energy can be extracted and channeled for some technical purpose.

0048 Here is a picture of the natural philosopher looking into the science side of the mirror.

0049 The Aristotelian starts with the thing itself, hydrogen and oxygen as matter [substantiates] form.  Already, matter reflects scientific knowledge, insofar as many natural philosophers will not ignore the widely accepted chemical principles of atoms and molecules.  Hydrogen gas consists of two atoms of hydrogen sharing two electrons.  Oxygen consists two atoms of oxygen holding sixteen electrons total.  

Okay, the forms also reflect chemical principles, which brings me to Tabaczek’s stand-in for phenomena: dispositions [properties] powers.  This hylomorphe is another way to express the character of hydrogen and oxygen molecules.

Hydrogen molecules (H2) have certain properties. They are disposed to give away their two electrons (-1), allowing their respective electropositive protons (+1) to find more accommodating clouds of electronegativity.  Hydrogen molecules have the power to “reduce” other chemicals (where the “reduced” chemical gains electrons).  “Reduction” means that a (not hydrogen molecule) chemical receives two electrons.

Oxygen molecules (O2) have certain properties.  Each oxygen atom is disposed to take two electrons (-1) in order to better surround its electropositive nucleus (+8) with a complete second “shell” of electronegativity (resulting in nucleus at +8 and ten electrons adding to -10). Oxygen has the power to “oxidize” other chemicals (where the “oxidized chemical loses electrons).  “Oxidation” means that a (not oxygen molecule) chemical loses four electrons (that is, two for each oxygen).

In order to explain these disposition [properties] powers, one may consider a hydrogen or an oxygen atom in terms of a point-sized electropositive nucleus inside standing waves or localized clouds of electronegative orbitals, each open to holding a pair of electrons.  Each type of atom, each element, is composed of a point-sized electropositive nucleus of a certain mass and charge, surrounded by mathematical standing waves, which may (or may not) be occupied by one or two electrons.  An atom’s tendency to give, cling to, share and take electrons depends of how each type of atom goes about getting the most stable… er… “stable” of electrons in its mathematical standing-wave “barn”.

Thus, the dispositions [properties] powers of molecular hydrogen and oxygen depend on the matters [substances] formsof their respective atoms.

So, if two molecular hydrogens (2H2 (g)) and one molecular oxygen (O2 (g)) are unhappy with their matters [substances] forms, then after an explosive release of energy, they settle in as two molecules of water (2H2O (g)) and their mathematically-defined standing-wave “barns” are happily occupied…. or… stabilized.

0050 Of course, this ranch-grown narrative depends on science, yet it sounds like natural philosophy, because it expresses what the scientist (or any person) encounters in terms of Peirce’s category of secondness.  For all practical purposes, the noumenon offers a description of the laboratory-based balanced chemical reaction and its phenomena offers insights into the dispositions [properties] powers involved in spontaneous “orthograde” natural processes.

0051 Here is a general picture.

Needless to say, each side of the mirror projects into the other side of the mirror.

This constitutes Tabaczek’s challenge, now that the positivist intellect has been terminated.

The science side sees the ghost of the positivist intellect in its mirror.

The philosophical side sees science as it is practiced in its mirror.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 8 of 22)

0052 What is an illusion?

An illusion is a mind-independent being that is taken to be mind-dependent.

For example, some think that the noumenon of combining hydrogen and oxygen gases (a mind-independent being) is the same as the balanced chemical equation where two hydrogen molecules combine with one oxygen molecule to produce two water molecules (a mind-dependent being.

0053 Often, in science, the noumenon, the thing itself, is regarded as a manifestation of the corresponding scientific mathematical and mechanical model.  Tabaczek understands that this is not the case.  The triumphalist scientist turns the noumenon into an illusion.

Modern scientists regard the noumenon as irrelevant to their empirio-schematic research, since the thing itself cannot be objectified as its observable and measurable facets.  But, if the noumenon is the model itself, then it (the model standing-in for the noumenon) can be objectified as its phenomena.

How convenient.

0054 But, there is a disconnect.

Noumena are precisely what our genus encountered over and over again in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.  Indeed, humans are adapted to recognize and process signs of noumena.  We not only identify noumena in the normal context of what is happening?3a, but we objectify noumena in terms of what it means to me?3bPlus, we contextualize our objectification with another normal context, asking does this make sense?3c.  Even more amazing, we wonder whether the noumenon that we have identified2a is really the sign-object of a sign-relation emanating from who knows who or what or where.  In short, we act as if the noumenon is both a sign-vehicle (to identify, react to and to evaluate our reaction to), but also a sign-object (that is, what some unknown sign-vehicle stands for).

What does this imply?

If noumena are illusions, as they are in our modern Age of Ideas, then we may have a problem.

0055 What is a delusion?

A delusion is a mind-dependent being that is regarded as mind-independent.

Can the reader see where I am going with this one?

0056 Uh-oh.

What happens when a delusional looks into the mirror?

He sees his own illusions.

0057 I may not be certain about the reason why this wandering friar would choose such an ambitious doctoral thesis project.

However, I am certain that this God-fearing fellow is now a first-person witness of the crazy-town built on the academic turf of the philosophy of science.

0058 The attributes of this modern crazy-town are captured in Razie Mah’s blog, Looking At Alex Jones’s Book (2020) The Great Reset, during the month of January 2023.  If a model, regarded as mind-independent reality, is a delusion and if a noumenon, the thing itself, is regarded as mind-dependent reality, then of course, we are headed for a great reset.  Or, a great what-if.  Philosophers of science struggle to present accounts of the realness of scientific models, despite the fact that millions of people rely on scientific inventions in their daily lives.

Well, the great what-if will change all that.

Once mathematical and mechanical models become more real than reality itself, then the average bloke may start to pay attention.

0059 I ask, “What gives Tabaczek his confidence about the importance of dispositional metaphysics when modern scientific establishments seem to be quite successful, despite the lackluster performances of model-embracing philosophers of science?”

Is it the same confidence that inspires people to get onto airplanes?

0060 Humans evolved to intuitively abstract noumena on the basis of Aristotle’s four causes, long before Aristotle labels them.  Tabaczek describes Aristotle’s notion of causality in the first chapter.  Tellingly, he couples material and formal causation.  He also couples efficient and final causation.  Why does he do that?  A correlation between Aristotle’s four causes and Peirce’s category-based nested form offers an answer.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 9 of 22)

0061 What is a category-based nested form?

Thirdness brings secondness into firstness.

A triadic normal context3 brings a dyadic actuality2 into relation with a monadic possibility of ‘something’1.

Here is a picture.

0062 Each category expresses a different logic.

The realm of normal context3 entails the logics of exclusivity, complementarity and alignment.

The realm of actuality2 offers the logics of contradiction (and non-contradiction).

The realm of firstness1 allows contradictions (as long as they cannot separate from one another) and displays the logic of inclusivity.

0063 I have already mentioned that Aristotle’s hylomorphe exemplifies Peirce’s category of secondness. Secondness consists of two contiguous real elements.  

Here is a picture of the comparison.

0064 Now, Aristotle’s material causality is confined to Peirce’s secondness.  But that is only the beginning.  Already, I demonstrated that chemical reactions may be formulated as hylomorphes.  All types of causes and effects may be presented as hylomorphes.  So, material causation entangles both the matter side of the hylomorphe and the form side.

For another example, hydrogen may be described as molecular material manifesting as a gas, a physical state.  If I keep the temperature the same, when I increase the pressure on this gas, its volume will decrease.  So, both sides of the hylomorphe are connected with materiality.

For example, the combustion of hydrogen and oxygen may be pictured as the hylomorphe, chemical reagents [change of free energy] chemical products.  Material causes may be located in both sides of the hylomorphe.  Plus, when free energy is released, chemical reagents (hydrogen and oxygen gases) seem to be like matter and chemical products (gaseous water) seem to be like form.  How so?  Well, matter enters into form.  Matter substantiates form.  So, there seems to be a directionality to hylomorphes that depict chemical reactions.

Science embraces material causation.

0065 What about formal causality?

Formal causality describes the way that a normal context3 contextualizes its actuality2, as well as the way that an actuality2 conforms to its normal context3.  When the actuality2 is portrayed as a hylomorphe2, formal causation touches base with the side of the form2.

Science abhors formal causation, because one cannot observe or measure normal contexts3.

Here is a picture.

0066 Does this explain why Tabaczek couples material and formal causalities?

Well, these pictures offer a way to appreciate the coupling.

0067 What about efficient causality?

Efficient causality describes the way that actuality2 emerges from (and situates) its potential1.  For Aristotle’s hylomorphe, matter has to efficiently substantiate form.  If the form is a shape, matter must efficiently fit that shape.

When Aristotle’s hylomorphe broadens to cover the wide variety of causes and effects belonging to Peirce’s secondness, efficient causes become very extensive.  Yet, despite the range of efficient causes, they tend to be portrayed as instrumental, physical and immediate. These portrayals emphasize the actuality side of efficient causality.  Science retains this side of efficient causality.  Science avoids efficient causes that emphasize the potential side of efficient causality, such as chance, malfunctions or delays.  

Here is a picture.

0068 What about final causality?

Final causation describes the way that the entire nested form comes together to satisfy the teleological component of its potential.  As such, efficient and final causes should complement one another.  Sometimes, a final cause cannot succeed because of lack of means (or instruments for efficient causation).  Sometimes, efficient causes are so effective that they mask complementary final causes.

Why do scientists eschew final causation?

Final causes cannot be observed or measured with scientific instruments.  However, they can be simulated as “factors” in computer programs.  Modern simulations allow scientists to import formal and final causes as factors in mathematical and mechanical models… er… I meant to say, “under the guise of truncated material and efficient causes”.

Here is a picture.

0069 These affiliations between Aristotle’s four causes and Peirce’s category-based nested form are discussed in Comments on Fr. Thomas White’s Essay (2019) “Thomism for the New Evangelization” available at smashwords and other e-book venues.  Similar commentaries by Razie Mah are located in the series, Peirce’s Secondness and Aristotle’s Hylomorphism, and in the series, Considerations of Jacques Maritain, John Deely and Thomistic Approaches to the Questions of These Times.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 10 of 22)

0070 In order to draw some lessons from the congruence between Aristotle’s four causes and Peirce’s category-based nested form, I return to Tabaczek’s mirror.

0071 On the science side, I see one hylomorphe, with two real elements, mathematical and mechanical models and observations and measurements of phenomena.  Each branch of science has its own contiguity, its own disciplinary language.  At the same time, all branches of science rely on modern material and efficient causes.  Disciplinary languages operate to precisely define the causalities expressed by models.  In laboratory sciences, measurements and observations become so formulaic that a practicing scientist will forget that that the lexicon of his discipline is highly specialized.

0072 On the Aristotelian side, I see two hylomorphes, with three real elements, a noumenon, dispositions and powers.  The term, “properties”, is not a real element.  It is the contiguity between the real features of dispositions (which pertain to (what I call) esse_ce and therefore go into the slot for matter) and powers (which pertain to essence and therefore go into the slot for form).


For proper postmodern etiquette, one may say either “dispositions and powers” or “properties”, but not both at the same time.  The same goes for “matter and form” and “substance”.

Did I say that properly?

A noumenon may be a whole, composed of parts, each with its own properties.  The natural philosopher encounters the whole.  The whole has its own dispositions and powers.

0073 Consequently, I suggest that the contiguity on one side of Tabaczek’s mirror reflects the other by serving as the site where causalities are expressed.  On the science side of Tabaczek’s mirror, the contiguity may be rendered in the way of Peirce’s category-based nested form, but the rendering is counter-intuitive, because it exposes formal and final causes that are hidden, like shadows, within truncated material and efficient causalities.  On the natural philosophy side of Tabaczek’s mirror, the contiguity is at home with Peirce’s category-based nested form.  Aristotle’s four causes are intuitive.

0074 Here is a picture.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 11 of 22)

0075 How about an application?

Consider the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen molecules.

Here is a picture of the reaction in terms of the agencies of science and of natural philosophy.

0076 These are very similar, so I do not anticipate many difficulties.

The reaction itself may be expressed as a hylomorphe, as an expression of Peirce’s secondness, as scientific process, or as a witness-able event.

0077 The materially balanced chemical reaction may be structured as a hylomorphe.  The contiguity may be described as a loss of free energy.  This free-energy release makes the reaction spontaneous.

Here is a picture.

0078 A container loaded with hydrogen and oxygen gases will not explode until a spark starts the reaction.  There is a significant “barrier” to reaction.  Once that barrier is breached, then all hell breaks loose.

In order to include the kinetic barrier, I can add an item to the list of potentials in the following category-based nested forms.

0079 Chapter one of Tabaczek’s book, Emergence, discusses the central dogma of emergence.

First, the causes of emergent phenomena do not add up.

And second, they seem to.

0080 For example, the above orthograde reaction has been well studied and its mechanism (composed of modern truncated material and efficient causes) is well established.

0081 What happens when I use this reaction in a hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell?

A hydrogen-fuel cell may serve as a case study for emergent phenomena.

Sure, the hydrogen-fuel cell is designed by humans, but that is okay, because it has what emergent natural phenomena have, a life of its own.

0082 The spontaneous explosive reaction can be “tamed” (okay, “exploited”, is a better word) by separating molecular hydrogen’s disposition to give electrons and molecular oxygen’s disposition to receive electrons.  All I have to do is find the right metal for two separated electrodes in water, where one electrode contacts H2 (g) and the other electrode contacts O2 (g).  The gases are funneled in by tubing from nearby gas cannisters.

0083 Now, I label this separation of the oxidation (the electron-giving) and the reduction (the electron taking) sides of the original chemical reaction, “contragrade”, because it re-directs the spontaneous release of free energy into an electric current that can do work.

Here is a picture of the circuit.

0084 At the anode, two hydrogen molecules touch the metal and separate into four hydrogen atoms which then release (because they are disposed to) their electrons into the electrode in order to become four aqueous hydrogen ions.  Hydrogen ions love water and will make the solution acidic.

At the cathode, one oxygen molecule touches the metal and separates into two atoms that will take on two electrons each.  They become ions that immediately attract hydrogen from nearby water molecules, resulting in four hydroxide ions.  For simplicity, I write that the result is O-2 (aq).  Hydroxide makes the water basic.

To complete the circuit, the hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions recombine to form neutral water somewhere between the electrodes.

0085 To improve this setup, an engineer places a matrix of polysulfonate in the water between the cathode and anode.  Polysulfonate consists of sulfate ions covalently bonded to a carbon polymer, creating a forest of negative sulfate ions for the positive hydrogen ions to enter (for one side) and a ready supply of hydrogen ions that float out to neutralize hydroxide (on the other side).

0086 At this point, I can draw several conclusions.

First, the contragrade (fuel cell) reaction does not add up to the orthograde original, because the hydrogen and oxygen gases do not mix and explode.  Instead, a current is produced.  This current is capable of, say, running a little motor.  The contragrade set-up exploits the orthograde reaction by re-directing some (but not all) of the thermodynamic free energy released by the original (orthograde) reaction.

Second, the contragrade processes associated with this fuel-cell, as an emergent phenomenon, are novel.  They would not exist except for the dispositions and powers of molecular hydrogen and oxygen.  Plus, the homeodynamics of the contragrade processes can be optimized.  For example, the polysulfonate matrix assists in the ability of aqueous acid and base to recombine.

Third, the energy captured by homeodynamics is dissipated when the current does work.  So, the fuel-cell and its motor are morphodynamic (where “morpho” means “arrangement”).  The way the motor relies on the fuel cell in such a way that a failure of the fuel cell will stop the power to the motor.  In terms of the evolution of motors that use hydrogen-fuel cells, I suppose that means that machines with poor morphodynamics do not survive.

Fourth, the motor does not stand alone.  It will be part of a larger machine.  This introduces the concept of teleodynamics.  The fuel-cell driven motor has material, efficient, formal and final causes.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 12 of 22)

0087 Let me say that again, with diagrams.

The thermodynamic nested form looks like this.

0088 The homeodynamic level “constrains” the thermodynamic level through a contragrade arrangement.  The contragrade arrangement may be regarded as “downward causation”, because it transforms the orthograde reaction in such a manner that some of the orthograde free energy is channeled into an electric current.  The fact that the contragrade arrangement does not go haywire serves as a testimony to its homeostatic capabilities.  It can hold itself together, even though it is theoretically siphoning energy from an explosion.

Here is the homeodynamic level.

0089 One of the beauties of this diagram is that is keeps the thermodynamic level pristine, even though the reader knows that the explosion is separated into two reactions, one giving electrons and one receiving electrons, in a fairly complicated manner.  All the complexity is packed into the potential of the contragrade arrangement1b.

I suppose that1b is where the complexity belongs, because so many features of a hydrogen fuel cell can go wrong.  Engineers try to isolate and control situational potential1b.

0090 The morphodynamic level capitalizes on the homeodynamic level, by providing an outlet that dissipates the re-directed energy.  In this example, the fuel cell powers a small motor.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 13 of 22)

0091 In chapter one, Tabaczek discusses the central characteristics of emergent phenomena.

So far, I use a scientifically designed product, the hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell, as an example.

Four characteristics have already been presented.

0092 The fifth characteristic is that emergent phenomena follow laws.

Now, what does this suggest in terms of this commercially available product?

0093 Material causation?

So, let me examine the virtual nested form in the realm of actuality (that is, the second column of the above interscope, displayed as a nested form).

Each of these actualities raise topics in material causation.  Everything must work correctly.  The orthograde chemical reaction must have convenient reagents.  It must provide lots of free energy.  The electrical current includes the right anode and cathode materials, wires as well as that polysulfonate matrix that provides a welcoming environment for hydrogen ions.

But, like any nested form, other causalities also come into play.

0094 The electric current2b stands as the emergent phenomenon whose energy is dissipated in the virtual normal context of powering a motor2c.  The match between the motor2c and the current2b defines engineering success and failure in term of formal causation.  The abilities of the fuel-cell to capture the orthograde reaction’s free energy2a as current2b defines engineering success and failure in terms of efficient causation.  The elegance of the design of the fuel-cell driven motor reflects final causation.

0095 The sixth characteristic?

Emergent phenomena cannot be deduced from the thermodynamic level.

Nor, can emergent phenomena be reduced to the thermodynamic level.

This characteristic becomes obvious when looking at the virtual nested form in the realm of normal context.

Really, this device is completely counter-intuitive.

Who would think of taming an explosion by miniaturizing it into a fuel cell that drives a motor?

Oh, I know, a human in our current Lebenswelt would.

But, what about a human in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in?

Notably, humans in the Lebenswelt that we evolved in construct intuitively natural devices.

Like stone-tipped wooden shafts for lances?

Oh, never mind.

0096 The seventh characteristic is that, emergent phenomena tend to show downward causation.

This is apparent when looking at the virtual nested form in the realm of possibility.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 14 of 22)

0097 Chapter two is titled, “Metaphysical Challenges for Emergence and Downward Causation”.

Once again, here is my human-designed example for an emergent phenomena: the hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell.

0098 Notice that the thermodynamica level has been adjusted3a to account for the situational potential of a contragrade arrangement1b, giving the appearance of downward causation.

In a similar manner, the fuel cell3b design may be honed to maximize the potential of mechanical work1c.

So, “downward causation” is the label applied when the potential of a higher level influences the normal context of adjacent lower level.

0099 Now, for a thought experiment.  Let me say that a motor powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell is made by corporation A and falls into the hands of corporation B, which would like to… um… “reproduce” the technology, in order to not be purchased outright by the profitable corporation A.

What falls into the hands of corporation B?

A fuel-cell powers a motor.

0100 The motor goes off to be analyzed by one technical team.

The fuel cell goes off to be analyzed by a second technical team.

0101 Funny, there are two “appearances of downward causation” and corporation B assigns two technical teams to the one project.  Plus, corporation B assigns a third team to coordinate the two technical teams.  Philosophers are assigned to this team.

Here is a picture.

0102 Here is how team one sees the problem.

The motor is material.  What are the materials?  The motor efficiently converts electrical current into mechanical work.  What are the efficient causes?  The motor is made by corporation A.  Is that an efficient cause or a final cause?  Who knows?  Well, we know that its a motor.  And what is the purpose of this motor?  Better ask team three.

0103 Here is how team two sees the challenge.

The fuel cell is material.  What are the materials?  The fuel cell produces an emergent phenomenon, an electric current, by separating the oxidation of molecular hydrogen from the reduction of molecular oxygen.  The technology is advanced, since the cathode (the hydrogen side) and the anode (the oxygen side) are specially designed as instruments for this purpose.  The materials touch base with the formal cause.  The formal cause is the generation of electricity.  We suspect that the free-energy of the overall chemical reaction is captured as an electric current, because that fits the fuel-cell’s design.  Design goes with formal causes.

How do we know for sure?  Ask team three.

0104 Here is how team three sees the challenge.

We need our spies in corporation A to tell us what specifically this device is designed to do (formal cause) as well as for what overall purpose (final cause).  

0105 Tabaczek, who seeks to introduce Aristotle’s four causes from his own, natural philosophical point of view, regards the activities of the three teams at work in corporation B, as they are reflected in the mirror of theology.

He asks, “Where do I see Aristotle’s four causes in emergence and downward causation?”

After all, this is precisely what the three teams in corporation B seem to be dealing with.  The electrical current is an emergent phenomenon that powers a motor for unknown purposes.  The potential of each higher level of analysis orders the configuration of the adjacent lower level analysis.  Can that be called, “downward causation”?

Of course!  But, if someone in team three tries to figure out the material, efficient, final and formal causation, that person is faced with two implied hylomorphes.

0106 Plus, the contiguities in Peirce’s secondness may range far and wide, but they all touch base with Aristotle’s exemplar, matter [substantiates] form, as foundational icon.  The terms, “coordinate” and “integrate” take on the characteristic of  “causes”, broadly defined as a contiguity between two real elements.

A scientist would like to simplify all this into one hylomorphe: material causes [integrate] efficient causes.  The causes that matter are physical.  The causes that form are reductive (that is, the higher-level potential is merely a manifestation of the adjacent lower-level nested form).  The scientist’s preference is called “reductive physicalism”.

0107 The metaphysicians say, “Whoa, that is a step too far.  The implied hylomorphes are both real and account for the existence of team three, which employs us.”

They label the two implied hylomorphes, “nonreductive physicalism”, in order to articulate their disagreement.

Articulate their disagreement?

Labels are important.

“Reductive physicalism” shoehorns emergence into modern truncated efficient and material causations.

“Nonreductive physicalism” acknowledges that final and formal causes cannot simply be cut out of the scientific analysis.

Note the compromise.

Typically, the term, “physicalism”, elevates modern truncated material and efficient causations.

These metaphysicians want to remain on the science side of Tabaczek’s mirror.

That is where the money is.


Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 15 of 22)

0108 So, I ask, “Which side of Tabaczek’s mirror does team three belong?”

0109 Tabaczek quotes Nancy Murphy, a philosopher and theologian.  In 1995, she quotes another philosopher and theologian, Austin Farrer, who, in 1957, says that, in emergent phenomena, constituents are caught, as if bewitched, by large patterns of action.

Using the motor driven by a hydrogen fuel-cell as an example, I repeat.  An electrical current catches constituents that manipulate the combustion of molecular hydrogen and molecular oxygen, as if the chemical reaction is magically commanded to power a motor that will use and dissipate the energy of the current.

0110 Team two studies (or “reverse engineers”) the way that the electric current catches the constituents of the fuel cell that manipulates the combustion of molecular hydrogen and molecular oxygen.

0111 Team one investigates the way that a motor uses and dissipates the energy manifested by the current.

0112 In order to do their job, they practice the empirio-schematic judgment.  They discuss their observations of their samples of the hydrogen fuel-cell driven motor and build models using causalities composed of truncated material and efficient causes.  

0113 Here is the problem.

Discussions of researchers in teams one and two put analytical and earnest philosophers in a bind, because these scientists neglect the question, asking, “Why is corporation A making this fuel-cell driven motor in the first place?”, while at the same time conducting their research as if the positivist’s intellect is still alive.

0114 Plus, they think that team three are on the same side as teams one and two.

But, take a look at Tabaczek’s mirror (rendered above).

0115 To me, it seems that teams one and two are agents on the science side of the mirror.

Team three has agents on the philosophy side of the mirror.

But wait, these agents want to be on the science side of the mirror as well.

Which brings me to point 0002.

Consider a sentence, found on page 273 of Emergence, midway in the final chapter, seven, saying (more or less), “I hope that my re-interpretation of downward causation and emergent systems, in terms of old and new Aristotelianism, will help analytical metaphysicians sound more credible to scientists and philosophers of science, who employ, analyze and justify methodological reductionism.”