Searle’s conception of ontological emergence is a basis for his explanation of mind and consciousness in the physical world. In this article, I try to show that a closer examination uncovers some possible ambiguities in Searle’s conception of emergence. First, I try to show that Searle’s distinction between emergent1 and emergent2 leads to a distinction between a strong and a weak interpretation of a causal consequence of interactions among constitutive entities and that from this point of view the existence of emergent2 is improbable only in the strong sense. Second, I attempt to clarify Searle’s distinction between explanation and deduction of consciousness in his claim for the non-deducibility of consciousness . At the end I try to show in what sense is Searle’s concept of emergence loaded with a form of mechanicism, one which is being abandoned in more recent ontological conceptions.
consciousness, emergence, emergent property, mind, system property