The main contention of the present paper is that current approaches to ontological emergence are not comprehensive, in that they share a common bias that make them blind to some conceptual space available to ontological emergence and, accordingly, to some clear-cut empirical cases of such an emergence. The bias in question is twofold. It consists in considering whatever emerges to be both systematically simultaneous with, as well as belonging to a higher level with respect to, what it emerges from. What I aim at showing in this paper is that putting aside such a twofold postulate allows for devising and exploring the prospects of an alternative perspective on ontological emergence, referred to as “flat emergence”. More particularly, I argue that sketching a theory of such an emergence is relevant in two respects: one conceptual, the other empirical. Not only does flat emergence constitute another viable way to fulfill the initial emergentist promise, but it also allows for making sense of some emergence ascriptions that synchronic and/or hierarchical accounts are unable to accommodate.
Traduzione dall'inglese a cura di Erica Onnis.