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date: 28 May 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses the question of whether phase transitions are to be understood as genuinely emergent phenomena, discussing concepts invoked in the increasing number of publications on emergence and phase transitions and the conceptions of reduction and corresponding notions of emergence. It also considers recent attempts to provide well-defined notions of phase transition for finite systems and highlights the evolving nature of our philosophical understanding of phase transitions, emergence, and reductionism.

Keywords: phase transitions, emergent phenomena, finite systems, emergence, reductionism, philosophical understanding

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