Séminaire Histoire et philosophie de l'informatique : Russ Abbott
Abstractions and implementations: a computer science perspective on emergence, causality, and multi-level autonomy
Abstract. Fundamental to Computer Science is the distinction between abstractions and implementations. When that distinction is applied to various philosophical questions it yields the following conclusions.
Emergence. It isn’t as mysterious as it’s made out to be; the possibility of strong emergence is not a threat to science.
Causality and interactions. Physical interaction among higher-level entities is illusory. Abstract interactions are the source of emergence, new domains of knowledge, and complex systems.
The relationship between physics and the special sciences. The new domains of knowledge derived from abstract interactions are the basis of the autonomy of the special sciences.
Downward causation. It’s a zombie idea that should be replaced by downward entailment.