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Beyond Reductionism Twice No Laws Entail Biosphere Evolution, Formal Cause Laws Beyond Efficient Cause Laws



Beyond Reductionism Twice No Laws Entail Biosphere Evolution, Formal Cause Laws Beyond Efficient Cause Laws







Newton set the stage for our view of how science should be done. We remain inwhat I will call the `Newtonian Paradigm' in all of physics, including Newton,Einstein, and Schrodinger. As I will show shortly, Newton invented andbequeathed to us `efficient cause entailing laws' for the entire becoming ofthe universe. With Laplace this became the foundation of contemporaryreductionism in which all that can happen in the world is due to efficientcause entailing laws. More this framework stands as our dominant way to doscience. The Newtonian Paradigm has done enormous work in science, and helpedlead to the Industrial Revolution, and even our entry into Modernity.In this paper I propose to challenge the adequacy of the Newtonian Paradigmon two ground: 1) For the evolution of the biosphere beyond the watershed oflife, we can formulate no efficient cause entailing laws that allow us todeduce the evolution of the biosphere. A fortiori, the same holds for theevolution of the economy, legal systems, social systems, and culture. Because Ihave discussed this before with my colleagues Longo and Montevil (1,2) andelsewhere, (3,4), my discussion of this first point will be rather brief. 2)What I shall choose to call, after Aristotle's four causes, noted below, FormalCause Laws derived from specific `ensemble theories' tell us about the world.But Formal Cause Laws are not reducible to efficient cause entailing laws ofthe Newtonian Paradigm and, critically, have already, unnoticed, crept intobiology concerning the origin of life, and economics concerning economicgrowth. Formal cause laws appear to be a new way to do science, independent ofefficient cause entailing laws. Thus Formal Cause laws can be independent ofany specific material substrate. This may bear on the sufficiency ofMaterialism in our account of the world.

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