more from Stephen Mumford

Single Idea 14302

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 7. Emergent Properties]

Full Idea

Though lead is said to be composed of molecules of lead, these molecules are not leaden in the everyday sense of the word. This suggests that a property need not be present at the microscopic level in order to be present at the macroscopic level.

Gist of Idea

A lead molecule is not leaden, and macroscopic properties need not be microscopically present


Stephen Mumford (Dispositions [1998], 02.3)

Book Reference

Mumford,Stephen: 'Dispositions' [OUP 1998], p.34

A Reaction

[He quotes Joske] This strikes me as a key principle to grasp about properties. One H2O molecule is not water, any more than a brick is a house! Nearly all properties (or all?) are 'emergent' (in the sensible, non-mystical use of that word).