Causal Emergence

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Causation happens between Systems demarcated by System Boundaries, horizontally as well as vertically.

Since The world is a hierarchy of systems, the question then is on which level of the hierarchy to locate specific instances of causation.

Top-down Reductionism claims that this is always the micro-level.

According to causal emergence, however, the causation happens at the level of the hierarchy where Models have the most causal information, i.e. provide a description of Causal Structure that is most resistant against noise, most independent from implementation details, and tracking features of the system’s Environment most usefully. This is not necessarily the micro-level – it can by any level of the hierarchy.Hoel et al. (2013), Hoel (2017a, 2017b, 2017c)

The best explanation for such epistemic success is (the ontological fact) that these models track real system boundaries, i.e. describe real things.A consequence of this view is that, contra Dennett (1991) and Dewhurst (2020), the patterns tracked on the various levels of reality are entities existing in their own right, not just useful groupings of real entities (e.g. subatomic particles). Friston (2018), Hemp et al. (2019) and Ramstead et al. (2019) implicitly use causal emergence in this strong sense.

In other words, causation emerges when Systems emerge due to constraints.