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draft of Ellis Book Review

Posted By Randall D. Isaac, Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I wish all of you a thoughtful and thankful holiday. If you need a break from family, fun, and food, I'd appreciate your taking a few moments to review the first draft of my attempt to take all those excerpts I've posted and construct a reasonable book review. The draft is posted here. I will keep it updated with changes as I edit it and then delete it and this post when I submit for publication. Please let me know what I left out, what I should leave out, and what needs clarification.

Thank you!

Tags:  Ellis  Emergence  Mind 

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Comments on this post...

Alice C. Linsley says...
Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Happy a blessed Thanksgiving, Randy!

This looks fascinating. I haven't read Ellis's book, but I hope to do so. I wonder what counts as “top” in top-down causation and what counts as “bottom”? Causation and agency are so complex.
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Randall D. Isaac says...
Posted Thursday, November 24, 2016
Alice, thanks for your comment. You reminded me that I was going to add a sentence about Ellis remarking that we can never be certain that we've discovered either the lowest or the highest level. There may always be something more to be discovered.
If, however you were asking how do we know which is higher and which is lower, the general answer is that the higher levels are composed of groups of the elements in the level beneath it. So as a simple illustration, a colony of bees is composed of a large number of bees. So the colony is higher in the hierarchy than the level of the individual bees. And the difference between a colony of bees and simply a large number of individual bees is that in the former case, they are interacting with each other. I agree, it's not always so easy to tell.
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Randall D. Isaac says...
Posted Friday, November 25, 2016
The link in the post has now been updated to version 1.1 which includes the sentence noted above as well as a couple of additional paragraphs on determinism and quantum dynamics.
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Randall D. Isaac says...
Posted Saturday, November 26, 2016
Version 1.2 is now posted at the same link. It adds a paragraph or two at the end about meaning and purpose.
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Randall D. Isaac says...
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2016
In response to a variety of private responses, version 1.3, which is now posted, has fairly extensive changes. The fourth paragraph is expanded to about five paragraphs to give a better introduction to some basic types of emergence. Other paragraphs have been moved around and rewritten.
Any more comments? I'm about ready to submit it to the book review editors.
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Randall D. Isaac says...
Posted Friday, December 2, 2016
At long last, I sent version 1.4 to the book review editors and that version is now posted. It only has minor revisions from 1.3, such as adding references and changing a few words here and there. Now we'll see what the editors want changed. At 3,500 words they might want it shortened. I certainly hope not.
Anyway, thank you all for your comments and assistance throughout this long process. And I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that this blog might turn to other topics now.
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Randall D. Isaac says...
Posted Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Good news! I just learned that the book review has been accepted, with some minor edits, for publication in the March issue of PSCF. Thank you all for your very helpful feedback and support--and for suffering through all of these posts and comments. Now maybe we can discuss some less esoteric topics.
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Sy Garte says...
Posted Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Hi, Randy. I am happy to have found your blog. I am also looking forward to the March issue of the journal where your book review will appear. Also, I will have an article in the same issue, which i expect to be just a tad controversial. Wishing you a Happy and Blessed Christmas.

Sy
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Randall D. Isaac says...
Posted Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Controversial? You? Surely not. Can't wait to see it.
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