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Emergence as a Metaphysical Fact

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Abstract A metaphysical fact is a fact, clearly recognizable in the course of time, for which there is no scientific explanation, that is, no legal explanation or explanation deduced in the manner recommended by modern science. I contend that life’s emergence and human thought’s emergence are metaphysical facts in this sense. These emergences are not to be explained by Darwinian principles which themselves do not seem adequate to explain genetic evolutionism. But modern cosmology has given us leave to reflect on cosmic evolution in a manner which gives sense to overall finality. There is an anthropic principle which has two forms: in the weak form, it can help science discover new legal explanations; in the strong form, it offers a teleological explanation of the laws of nature. As F. Dyson noted, we have two styles of explanation: the one is scientific; the other is metascientific (or metaphysical). We have no reason to reject teleological explanations about ontological questions.

Affiliations: 1: Archives Henri Poincaré UMR 7117 du CNRS 23 rue Goethe, F-67000 Strasbourg


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