Top Down Causation in Biological and Physical systems

There is a growing body of research supporting top down causation in the ohysical and biological sciences involving complex hierarchal systems. Physicist George Ellis among others support the concept of this top down effect where emergent systems interactions affect the lower systems. This helps explain complex interactions in these systems including convergent evolutionary processes.

Especially interesting for me is the implications as to how systems and its parts are related and what does that mean in terms of nature of reality. “Emergence” is a word that is thrown around way to lightly nowadays and 95% of the time the person using it, doesn´t realize how much it resembles Plato´s forms, in which way theymay exist.

Funny story on George Ellis, I watched several of his speeches about Top-Down causation online and I very much admire his engagements in aristotelian philosophy and making people aware of it. He visited my University in Frankfurt a couple of weeks ago. But can you imagine how mad I was when I read on the 2nd of April that he was there on April the 1st?

Thanks. Yes George Ellis thoughts on top down causation or realization are very interesting. He references and draws upon the ideas of Aristotle, Plato and Leibniz. Ellis is quite admirable from his work in physics, his general complexity theories and onto his humanism and vocal opposition to apartheid. You are right that emergence is used in many different ways and meanings. I think his ideas are important in understanding the general principles of complex theory organization.

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