Emergence

Emergence

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In philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, systems theory
Systems theory
Systems theory is the transdisciplinary study of systems in general, with the goal of elucidating principles that can be applied to all types of systems at all nesting levels in all fields of research...

, science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, and art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

, emergence is the way complex system
Complex system
A complex system is a system composed of interconnected parts that as a whole exhibit one or more properties not obvious from the properties of the individual parts....

s and patterns arise out of a multiplicity
Multiplicity (disambiguation)
Multiplicity may refer to* Multiplicity , a mathematical concept* Multiplicity , a philosophical concept* Multiplicity , the number of microstates in a system, in statistical mechanics...

 of relatively simple interactions. Emergence is central to the theories of integrative level
Integrative level
An integrative level, or level of organization, is a set of phenomena emerging on pre-existing phenomena of lower level. Typical examples include life emerging on non-living substances, and consciousness emerging on nervous systems....

s and of complex system
Complex system
A complex system is a system composed of interconnected parts that as a whole exhibit one or more properties not obvious from the properties of the individual parts....

s.

Definitions


The concept has been in use since at least the time of Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

. John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher, economist and civil servant. An influential contributor to social theory, political theory, and political economy, his conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control. He was a proponent of...

 and Julian Huxley
Julian Huxley
Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS was an English evolutionary biologist, humanist and internationalist. He was a proponent of natural selection, and a leading figure in the mid-twentieth century evolutionary synthesis...

 are just some of the historic luminaries who have written on the concept.

The term "emergent" was coined by the pioneer psychologist G. H. Lewes
George Henry Lewes
George Henry Lewes was an English philosopher and critic of literature and theatre. He became part of the mid-Victorian ferment of ideas which encouraged discussion of Darwinism, positivism, and religious scepticism...

, who wrote:

"Every resultant is either a sum or a difference of the co-operant forces; their sum, when their directions are the same -- their difference, when their directions are contrary. Further, every resultant is clearly traceable in its components, because these are homogeneous and commensurable. It is otherwise with emergents, when, instead of adding measurable motion to measurable motion, or things of one kind to other individuals of their kind, there is a co-operation of things of unlike kinds. The emergent is unlike its components insofar as these are incommensurable, and it cannot be reduced to their sum or their difference."


Jeffrey Goldstein in the School of Business at Adelphi University
Adelphi University
Adelphi University is a private, nonsectarian university located in Garden City, in Nassau County, New York, United States. It is the oldest institution of higher education on Long Island. For the sixth year, Adelphi University has been named a “Best Buy” in higher education by the Fiske Guide to...

 provides a current definition of emergence in the journal, Emergence . Goldstein initially defined emergence as: "the arising of novel and coherent structures, patterns and properties during the process of self-organization in complex systems".

Goldstein's definition can be further elaborated to describe the qualities of this definition in more detail:

"The common characteristics are: (1) radical novelty (features not previously observed in systems); (2) coherence or correlation (meaning integrated wholes that maintain themselves over some period of time); (3) A global or macro "level" (i.e. there is some property of "wholeness"); (4) it is the product of a dynamical process (it evolves); and (5) it is "ostensive" (it can be perceived). For good measure, Goldstein throws in supervenience
Supervenience
In philosophy, supervenience is a kind of dependency relationship. For example, mental states might depend on physical brain states. This dependency is typically held to obtain between sets of properties. A classic example is that mental states of pain supervene on 'C-fibers firing'...

 -- downward causation."


Corning's definition of emergence:

"Rules, or laws, have no causal efficacy; they do not in fact “generate” anything. They serve merely to describe regularities and consistent relationships in nature. These patterns may be very illuminating and important, but the underlying causal agencies must be separately specified (though often they are not). But that aside, the game of chess illustrates precisely why any laws or rules of emergence and evolution are insufficient. Even in a chess game, you cannot use the rules to predict “history” — i.e., the course of any given game. Indeed, you cannot even reliably predict the next move in a chess game. Why? Because the “system” involves more than the rules of the game. It also includes the players and their unfolding, moment-by-moment decisions among a very large number of available options at each choice point. The game of chess is inescapably historical, even though it is also constrained and shaped by a set of rules, not to mention the laws of physics. Moreover, and this is a key point, the game of chess is also shaped by teleonomic, cybernetic, feedback-driven influences. It is not simply a self-ordered process; it involves an organized, “purposeful” activity."

Strong and weak emergence



The usage of the notion "emergence" may generally be subdivided into two perspectives, that of "weak emergence" and "strong emergence". Weak emergence
Weak emergence
Weak emergence is a type of emergence in which the emergent property is reducible to its individual constituents.This is opposed to strong emergence, in which the emergent property is irreducible to its individual constituents....

 describes new properties arising in systems as a result of the interactions at an elemental level. Emergence, in this case, is merely part of the language, or model that is needed to describe a system's behaviour.

But if, on the other hand, systems can have qualities not directly traceable to the system's components, but rather to how those components interact, and one is willing to accept that a system
System
System is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole....

 supervenes
Supervenience
In philosophy, supervenience is a kind of dependency relationship. For example, mental states might depend on physical brain states. This dependency is typically held to obtain between sets of properties. A classic example is that mental states of pain supervene on 'C-fibers firing'...

 on its components, then it is difficult to account for an emergent property's cause. These new qualities are irreducible
Irreducible (philosophy)
The principle of Irreducibility, in philosophy, has the sense that a complete account of an entity will not be possible at lower levels of explanation and which has novel properties beyond prediction and explanation...

 to the system's constituent parts . The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This view of emergence is called strong emergence
Strong emergence
Strong emergence is a type of emergence in which the emergent property is irreducible to its individual constituents. Some philosophers have proposed that qualia and consciousness demonstrate strong emergence...

. Some fields in which strong emergence
Strong emergence
Strong emergence is a type of emergence in which the emergent property is irreducible to its individual constituents. Some philosophers have proposed that qualia and consciousness demonstrate strong emergence...

 is more widely used include etiology
Etiology
Etiology is the study of causation, or origination. The word is derived from the Greek , aitiologia, "giving a reason for" ....

, epistemology and ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

.

Regarding strong emergence
Strong emergence
Strong emergence is a type of emergence in which the emergent property is irreducible to its individual constituents. Some philosophers have proposed that qualia and consciousness demonstrate strong emergence...

, Mark A. Bedau observes:

"Although strong emergence is logically possible, it is uncomfortably like magic. How does an irreducible but supervenient downward causal power arise, since by definition it cannot be due to the aggregation of the micro-level potentialities? Such causal powers would be quite unlike anything within our scientific ken. This not only indicates how they will discomfort reasonable forms of materialism. Their mysteriousness will only heighten the traditional worry that emergence entails illegitimately getting something from nothing."


However, "the debate about whether or not the whole can be predicted from the properties of the parts misses the point. Wholes produce unique combined effects, but many of these effects may be co-determined by the context and the interactions between the whole and its environment(s)." Along that same thought, Arthur Koestler
Arthur Koestler
Arthur Koestler CBE was a Hungarian author and journalist. Koestler was born in Budapest and, apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria...

 stated, "it is the synergistic effects produced by wholes that are the very cause of the evolution of complexity in nature" and used the metaphor of Janus to illustrate how the two perspectives (strong or holistic vs. weak or reductionistic) should be treated as perspectives, not exclusives, and should work together to address the issues of emergence. Further,

"The ability to reduce everything to simple fundamental laws does not imply the ability to start from those laws and reconstruct the universe.The constructionist hypothesis breaks down when confronted with the twin difficulties of scale and complexity. At each level of complexity entirely new properties appear. Psychology is not applied biology, nor is biology applied chemistry. We can now see that the whole becomes not merely more, but very different from the sum of its parts."

Objective or subjective quality


The properties of complexity and organization of any system are considered by Crutchfield to be subjective
Subjectivity
Subjectivity refers to the subject and his or her perspective, feelings, beliefs, and desires. In philosophy, the term is usually contrasted with objectivity.-Qualia:...

 qualities
Quality (philosophy)
A quality is an attribute or a property. Attributes are ascribable, by a subject, whereas properties are possessible. In contemporary philosophy, the idea of qualities and especially how to distinguish certain kinds of qualities from one another remains controversial.-Background:Aristotle analyzed...

 determined by the observer.

"Defining structure and detecting the emergence of complexity in nature are inherently subjective, though essential, scientific activities. Despite the difficulties, these problems can be analysed in terms of how model-building observers infer from measurements the computational capabilities embedded in non-linear processes. An observer’s notion of what is ordered, what is random, and what is complex in its environment depends directly on its computational resources: the amount of raw measurement data, of memory, and of time available for estimation and inference. The discovery of structure in an environment depends more critically and subtly, though, on how those resources are organized. The descriptive power of the observer’s chosen (or implicit) computational model class, for example, can be an overwhelming determinant in finding regularity in data."


On the other hand, Peter Corning
Peter Corning
Peter Andrew Corning is an American biologist, consultant, and complex systems scientist, and Director of the Institute for the Study of Complex Systems, in Friday Harbor, Washington, and is known especially for his work on the causal role of synergy in evolution.- Biography :Peter Corning was...

 argues "Must the synergies be perceived/observed in order to qualify as emergent effects, as some theorists claim? Most emphatically not. The synergies associated with emergence are real and measurable, even if nobody is there to observe them." These are not necessarily incompatible, however, since while an observer is free to choose the definition of order that they wish to take, once it is chosen that definition applies objectively to any system independently of observation.

Emergence in philosophy, religion, art and human sciences


In philosophy, emergence is often understood to be a much stronger claim about the etiology
Etiology
Etiology is the study of causation, or origination. The word is derived from the Greek , aitiologia, "giving a reason for" ....

 of a system's properties. An emergent property of a system, in this context, is one that is not a property of any component of that system, but is still a feature of the system as a whole. Nicolai Hartmann
Nicolai Hartmann
-Biography:Hartmann was born of German descent in Riga, which was then the capital of the Russian province of Livonia, and which is now in Latvia. He studied Medicine at the University of Tartu , then Philosophy in St. Petersburg and at the University of Marburg in Germany, where he took his Ph.D....

, one of the first modern philosophers to write on emergence, termed this categorial novum (new category).

In religion, emergence grounds expressions of religious naturalism
Religious naturalism
Religious naturalism is an approach to spirituality that is devoid of supernaturalism. The focus is on the religious attributes of the universe/Nature, the understanding of it and our response to it . These provide for the development of an eco-morality...

 in which a sense of the sacred
Sacred
Holiness, or sanctity, is in general the state of being holy or sacred...

 is perceived in the workings of entirely naturalistic processes by which more complex
Complexity
In general usage, complexity tends to be used to characterize something with many parts in intricate arrangement. The study of these complex linkages is the main goal of complex systems theory. In science there are at this time a number of approaches to characterizing complexity, many of which are...

 forms arise or evolve from simpler forms. Examples are detailed in a 2006 essay titled 'The Sacred Emergence of Nature' by Ursula Goodenough
Ursula Goodenough
Ursula W. Goodenough is a Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis and author of the best selling book Sacred Depths of Nature...

 and Terrence Deacon
Terrence Deacon
Terrence William Deacon is an American anthropologist . He taught at Harvard for eight years, relocated to Boston University in 1992, and is currently Professor of Biological Anthropology and Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley.-Theoretical interests:Prof...

 and a 2006 essay titled 'Beyond Reductionism: Reinventing the Sacred' by Stuart Kauffman
Stuart Kauffman
Stuart Alan Kauffman is an American theoretical biologist and complex systems researcher concerning the origin of life on Earth...

.

The concept of emergence has been applied to the theory of literature
Literary theory
Literary theory in a strict sense is the systematic study of the nature of literature and of the methods for analyzing literature. However, literary scholarship since the 19th century often includes—in addition to, or even instead of literary theory in the strict sense—considerations of...

 and art, history, linguistics, cognitive sciences, etc. by the teachings of Jean-Marie Grassin et the University of Limoges (v. esp.: J. Fontanille, B. Westphal, J. Vion-Dury, éds. L'Émergence—Poétique de l'Émergence, en réponse aux travaux de Jean-Marie Grassin, Bern, Berlin, etc., 2011; and: the article "Emergence" in the International Dictionary of Literary Terms (DITL).

In postcolonial studies, the term "Emerging Literature" refers to a contemporary body of texts that gaining momentum in the global literary landscape (v. esp.: J.M. Grassin, ed. Emerging Literatures, Bern, Berlin, etc. : Peter Lang, 1996). By opposition, "emergent literature" is rather a concept used in the theory of literature.

Emergent properties and processes


An emergent behavior or emergent property can appear when a number of simple entities
Entity
An entity is something that has a distinct, separate existence, although it need not be a material existence. In particular, abstractions and legal fictions are usually regarded as entities. In general, there is also no presumption that an entity is animate.An entity could be viewed as a set...

 (agents) operate in an environment, forming more complex behaviors as a collective. If emergence happens over disparate size scales, then the reason is usually a causal relation across different scales. In other words there is often a form of top-down feedback in systems with emergent properties. The processes from which emergent properties result may occur in either the observed or observing system, and can commonly be identified by their patterns of accumulating change, most generally called 'growth'. Why emergent behaviours occur include: intricate causal relations across different scales and feedback, known as interconnectivity
Interconnectivity
Interconnectivity is a concept that is used in numerous fields such as cybernetics, biology, ecology, network theory, and non-linear dynamics. The concept can be summarized as that all parts of a system interact with and rely on one another simply by the fact that they occupy the same system, and...

. The emergent property itself may be either very predictable or unpredictable and unprecedented, and represent a new level of the system's evolution. The complex behaviour or properties are not a property of any single such entity, nor can they easily be predicted or deduced from behaviour in the lower-level entities: they are irreducible. The shape and behaviour of a flock of birds http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11679-flying-in-vformation-gives-best-view-for-least-effort.html or school of fish are also good examples.

One reason why emergent behaviour is hard to predict is that the number of interaction
Interaction
Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way causal effect...

s between components of a system increases combinatorially with the number of components, thus potentially allowing for many new and subtle types of behaviour to emerge. For example, the possible interactions between groups of molecules grows enormously with the number of molecules such that it is impossible for a computer to even list the arrangements for a system as small as 20 molecules.

On the other hand, merely having a large number of interactions is not enough by itself to guarantee emergent behaviour; many of the interactions may be negligible or irrelevant, or may cancel each other out. In some cases, a large number of interactions can in fact work against the emergence of interesting behaviour, by creating a lot of "noise" to drown out any emerging "signal"; the emergent behaviour may need to be temporarily isolated from other interactions before it reaches enough critical mass to be self-supporting. Thus it is not just the sheer number of connections between components which encourages emergence; it is also how these connections are organised. A hierarchical organisation is one example that can generate emergent behaviour (a bureaucracy may behave in a way quite different from that of the individual humans in that bureaucracy); but perhaps more interestingly, emergent behaviour can also arise from more decentralized organisational structures, such as a marketplace. In some cases, the system has to reach a combined threshold of diversity, organisation, and connectivity before emergent behaviour appears.

Unintended consequence
Unintended consequence
In the social sciences, unintended consequences are outcomes that are not the outcomes intended by a purposeful action. The concept has long existed but was named and popularised in the 20th century by American sociologist Robert K. Merton...

s and side effects are closely related to emergent properties. Luc Steels
Luc Steels
Luc Steels is a Belgian scientist, and Director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He is also heading the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris. Steels, along with Rodney Brooks , was one of the initiators of the behaviour-based robotics approach to...

 writes: "A component has a particular functionality but this is not recognizable as a subfunction of the global functionality. Instead a component implements a behaviour whose side effect contributes to the global functionality [...] Each behaviour has a side effect and the sum of the side effects gives the desired functionality" . In other words, the global or macroscopic functionality of a system with "emergent functionality" is the sum of all "side effects", of all emergent properties and functionalities.

Systems with emergent properties or emergent structures may appear to defy entropic
Entropy
Entropy is a thermodynamic property that can be used to determine the energy available for useful work in a thermodynamic process, such as in energy conversion devices, engines, or machines. Such devices can only be driven by convertible energy, and have a theoretical maximum efficiency when...

 principles and the second law of thermodynamics
Thermodynamics
Thermodynamics is a physical science that studies the effects on material bodies, and on radiation in regions of space, of transfer of heat and of work done on or by the bodies or radiation...

, because they form and increase order despite the lack of command and central control. This is possible because open systems can extract information and order out of the environment.

Emergence helps to explain why the fallacy of division
Fallacy of division
A fallacy of division occurs when one reasons logically that something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts.An example:# A Boeing 747 can fly unaided across the ocean.# A Boeing 747 has jet engines....

 is a fallacy.

Emergent structures in nature



Emergent structures are patterns that cannot result from a small set of rules or events; however, there are those who disagree. Rules are not causal commands natural systems obey. Rather, the interaction of each part with its immediate surroundings causes a complex chain of processes leading to order in some form. One might conclude, per Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

, that emergent structures are more than the sum of their parts because the emergent order will not arise if the various parts are simply coexisting; the interaction of these parts is central. Emergent structures can be found in many natural phenomena, from the physical to the biological domain. For example, the shape of weather phenomena such as hurricanes are emergent structures.
The development and growth of complex, orderly crystals, as driven by the random motion of water molecules within a conducive natural environment, is another example of an emergent process, where randomness can give rise to complex and deeply attractive, orderly structures.

However, crystalline structure and hurricanes are said to have a self-organizing phase.

It is useful to distinguish three forms of emergent structures. A first-order emergent structure occurs as a result of shape interactions (for example, hydrogen bond
Hydrogen bond
A hydrogen bond is the attractive interaction of a hydrogen atom with an electronegative atom, such as nitrogen, oxygen or fluorine, that comes from another molecule or chemical group. The hydrogen must be covalently bonded to another electronegative atom to create the bond...

s in water molecules lead to surface tension
Surface tension
Surface tension is a property of the surface of a liquid that allows it to resist an external force. It is revealed, for example, in floating of some objects on the surface of water, even though they are denser than water, and in the ability of some insects to run on the water surface...

). A Second-order emergent structure involves shape interactions played out sequentially over time (for example, changing atmospheric conditions as a snowflake falls to the ground build upon and alter its form). Finally, a third-order emergent structure is a consequence of shape, time, and heritable instructions. For example, an organism's genetic code sets boundary conditions on the interaction of biological systems in space and time.

Non-living, physical systems


In physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

, emergence is used to describe a property, law, or phenomenon which occurs at macroscopic scales (in space or time) but not at microscopic scales, despite the fact that a macroscopic system can be viewed as a very large ensemble of microscopic systems.

An emergent property need not be more complicated than the underlying non-emergent properties which generate it. For instance, the laws of thermodynamics are remarkably simple, even if the laws which govern the interactions between component particles are complex. The term emergence in physics is thus used not to signify complexity, but rather to distinguish which laws and concepts apply to macroscopic scales, and which ones apply to microscopic scales.

Some examples include:
  • Classical mechanics
    Classical mechanics
    In physics, classical mechanics is one of the two major sub-fields of mechanics, which is concerned with the set of physical laws describing the motion of bodies under the action of a system of forces...

    : The laws of classical mechanics can be said to emerge as a limiting case from the rules of quantum mechanics
    Quantum mechanics
    Quantum mechanics, also known as quantum physics or quantum theory, is a branch of physics providing a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter. It departs from classical mechanics primarily at the atomic and subatomic...

     applied to large enough masses. This may be puzzling, because quantum mechanics is generally thought of as more complicated than classical mechanics.
  • Colour: Elementary particle
    Elementary particle
    In particle physics, an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a particle not known to have substructure; that is, it is not known to be made up of smaller particles. If an elementary particle truly has no substructure, then it is one of the basic building blocks of the universe from which...

    s do not absorb or emit specific wavelength
    Wavelength
    In physics, the wavelength of a sinusoidal wave is the spatial period of the wave—the distance over which the wave's shape repeats.It is usually determined by considering the distance between consecutive corresponding points of the same phase, such as crests, troughs, or zero crossings, and is a...

    s of light
    Photon
    In physics, a photon is an elementary particle, the quantum of the electromagnetic interaction and the basic unit of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation. It is also the force carrier for the electromagnetic force...

     and thus have no colour; it is only when they are arranged in atom
    Atom
    The atom is a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The atomic nucleus contains a mix of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons...

    s that they absorb or emit specific wavelength
    Wavelength
    In physics, the wavelength of a sinusoidal wave is the spatial period of the wave—the distance over which the wave's shape repeats.It is usually determined by considering the distance between consecutive corresponding points of the same phase, such as crests, troughs, or zero crossings, and is a...

    s of light
    Photon
    In physics, a photon is an elementary particle, the quantum of the electromagnetic interaction and the basic unit of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation. It is also the force carrier for the electromagnetic force...

     and can thus be said to have a colour.
  • Friction
    Friction
    Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and/or material elements sliding against each other. There are several types of friction:...

    : Forces between elementary particles are conservative. However, friction emerges when considering more complex structures of matter, whose surfaces can convert mechanical energy into heat energy when rubbed against each other. Similar considerations apply to other emergent concepts in continuum mechanics
    Continuum mechanics
    Continuum mechanics is a branch of mechanics that deals with the analysis of the kinematics and the mechanical behavior of materials modelled as a continuous mass rather than as discrete particles...

     such as viscosity
    Viscosity
    Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid which is being deformed by either shear or tensile stress. In everyday terms , viscosity is "thickness" or "internal friction". Thus, water is "thin", having a lower viscosity, while honey is "thick", having a higher viscosity...

    , elasticity
    Elasticity (physics)
    In physics, elasticity is the physical property of a material that returns to its original shape after the stress that made it deform or distort is removed. The relative amount of deformation is called the strain....

    , tensile strength
    Tensile strength
    Ultimate tensile strength , often shortened to tensile strength or ultimate strength, is the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before necking, which is when the specimen's cross-section starts to significantly contract...

    , etc.
  • Patterned ground
    Patterned ground
    Patterned ground is a term used to describe the distinct, and often symmetrical geometric shapes formed by ground material in periglacial regions...

    : the distinct, and often symmetrical geometric shapes formed by ground material in periglacial regions.
  • Statistical mechanics
    Statistical mechanics
    Statistical mechanics or statistical thermodynamicsThe terms statistical mechanics and statistical thermodynamics are used interchangeably...

     was initially derived using the concept of a large enough ensemble
    Statistical ensemble (mathematical physics)
    In mathematical physics, especially as introduced into statistical mechanics and thermodynamics by J. Willard Gibbs in 1878, an ensemble is an idealization consisting of a large number of mental copies of a system, considered all at once, each of which represents a possible state that the real...

     that fluctuations about the most likely distribution can be all but ignored. However, small clusters do not exhibit sharp first order phase transition
    Phase transition
    A phase transition is the transformation of a thermodynamic system from one phase or state of matter to another.A phase of a thermodynamic system and the states of matter have uniform physical properties....

    s such as melting, and at the boundary it is not possible to completely categorize the cluster as a liquid or solid, since these concepts are (without extra definitions) only applicable to macroscopic systems. Describing a system using statistical mechanics methods is much simpler than using a low-level atomistic approach.
  • Weather
    Weather
    Weather is the state of the atmosphere, to the degree that it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. Most weather phenomena occur in the troposphere, just below the stratosphere. Weather refers, generally, to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity, whereas climate...



Temperature
Temperature
Temperature is a physical property of matter that quantitatively expresses the common notions of hot and cold. Objects of low temperature are cold, while various degrees of higher temperatures are referred to as warm or hot...

 is sometimes used as an example of an emergent macroscopic behaviour. In classical dynamics, a snapshot of the instantaneous momenta of a large number of particles at equilibrium is sufficient to find the average kinetic energy per degree of freedom which is proportional to the temperature. For a small number of particles the instantaneous momenta at a given time are not statistically sufficient to determine the temperature of the system. However, using the ergodic hypothesis
Ergodic hypothesis
In physics and thermodynamics, the ergodic hypothesis says that, over long periods of time, the time spent by a particle in some region of the phase space of microstates with the same energy is proportional to the volume of this region, i.e., that all accessible microstates are equiprobable over a...

, the temperature can still be obtained to arbitrary precision by further averaging the momenta over a long enough time.

Convection
Convection
Convection is the movement of molecules within fluids and rheids. It cannot take place in solids, since neither bulk current flows nor significant diffusion can take place in solids....

 in a liquid or gas is another example of emergent macroscopic behaviour that makes sense only when considering differentials of temperature. Convection cells, particularly Bénard cells, are an example of a self-organizing system (more specifically, a dissipative system
Dissipative system
A dissipative system is a thermodynamically open system which is operating out of, and often far from, thermodynamic equilibrium in an environment with which it exchanges energy and matter....

) whose structure is determined both by the constraints of the system and by random perturbations: the possible realizations of the shape and size of the cells depends on the temperature gradient as well as the nature of the fluid and shape of the container, but which configurations are actually realized is due to random perturbations (thus these systems exhibit a form of symmetry breaking
Symmetry breaking
Symmetry breaking in physics describes a phenomenon where small fluctuations acting on a system which is crossing a critical point decide the system's fate, by determining which branch of a bifurcation is taken. To an outside observer unaware of the fluctuations , the choice will appear arbitrary...

).

In some theories of particle physics, even such basic structures as mass
Mass
Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

, space
Space
Space is the boundless, three-dimensional extent in which objects and events occur and have relative position and direction. Physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum...

, and time
Time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

 are viewed as emergent phenomena, arising from more fundamental concepts such as the Higgs boson
Higgs boson
The Higgs boson is a hypothetical massive elementary particle that is predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics. Its existence is postulated as a means of resolving inconsistencies in the Standard Model...

 or string
String theory
String theory is an active research framework in particle physics that attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity. It is a contender for a theory of everything , a manner of describing the known fundamental forces and matter in a mathematically complete system...

s. In some interpretations of quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics, also known as quantum physics or quantum theory, is a branch of physics providing a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter. It departs from classical mechanics primarily at the atomic and subatomic...

, the perception of a deterministic reality, in which all objects have a definite position, momentum, and so forth, is actually an emergent phenomenon, with the true state of matter being described instead by a wavefunction
Wavefunction
Not to be confused with the related concept of the Wave equationA wave function or wavefunction is a probability amplitude in quantum mechanics describing the quantum state of a particle and how it behaves. Typically, its values are complex numbers and, for a single particle, it is a function of...

 which need not have a single position or momentum.
Most of the laws of physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 themselves as we experience them today appear to have emerged during the course of time making emergence the most fundamental principle in the universe and raising the question of what might be the most fundamental law of physics from which all others emerged. Chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 can in turn be viewed as an emergent property of the laws of physics. Biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 (including biological evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

) can be viewed as an emergent property of the laws of chemistry. Finally, psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 could at least theoretically be understood as an emergent property of neurobiological laws.

Emergence and evolution


Life
Life
Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased , or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate...

 is a major source of complexity, and evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

 is the major process behind the varying forms of life. In this view, evolution is the process describing the growth of complexity in the natural world and in speaking of the emergence of complex living beings and life-forms, this view refers therefore to processes of sudden changes in evolution.

Regarding causality in evolution Peter Corning
Peter Corning
Peter Andrew Corning is an American biologist, consultant, and complex systems scientist, and Director of the Institute for the Study of Complex Systems, in Friday Harbor, Washington, and is known especially for his work on the causal role of synergy in evolution.- Biography :Peter Corning was...

 observes:
"Synergistic effects of various kinds have played a major causal role in the evolutionary process generally and in the evolution of cooperation and complexity in particular... Natural selection is often portrayed as a “mechanism”, or is personified as a causal agency... In reality, the differential “selection” of a trait, or an adaptation, is a consequence of the functional effects it produces in relation to the survival and reproductive success of a given organism in a given environment. It is these functional effects that are ultimately responsible for the trans-generational continuities and changes in nature.


Per his definition of emergence, Corning also address emergence and evolution:
"[In] evolutionary processes, causation is iterative; effects are also causes. And this is equally true of the synergistic effects produced by emergent systems. In other words, emergence itself... has been the underlying cause of the evolution of emergent phenomena in biological evolution; it is the synergies produced by organized systems that are the key.


Swarming is a well-known behaviour in many animal species from marching locusts to schooling fish
Shoaling and schooling
In biology, any group of fish that stay together for social reasons are said to be shoaling , and if, in addition, the group is swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner, they are said to be schooling . In common usage, the terms are sometimes used rather loosely...

 to flocking birds. Emergent structures are a common strategy found in many animal groups: colonies of ants, mounds built by termites, swarms of bees, shoals/schools of fish, flocks of birds, and herds/packs of mammals.

An example to consider in detail is an ant colony
Ant colony
An ant colony is an underground lair where ants live, eat and mate. Colonies consist of a series of underground chambers, connected to each other and the surface of the earth by small tunnels. There are rooms for nurseries, food storage, and mating...

. The queen does not give direct orders and does not tell the ants what to do. Instead, each ant reacts to stimuli in the form of chemical scent from larvae, other ants, intruders, food and build up of waste, and leaves behind a chemical trail, which, in turn, provides a stimulus to other ants. Here each ant is an autonomous unit that reacts depending only on its local environment and the genetically encoded rules for its variety of ant. Despite the lack of centralized decision making, ant colonies exhibit complex behavior and have even been able to demonstrate the ability to solve geometric problems. For example, colonies routinely find the maximum distance from all colony entrances to dispose of dead bodies.

Organization of life


A broader example of emergent properties in biology is viewed in the biological organisation of life, ranging from the subatomic level to the entire biosphere
Biosphere
The biosphere is the global sum of all ecosystems. It can also be called the zone of life on Earth, a closed and self-regulating system...

. For example, individual atom
Atom
The atom is a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The atomic nucleus contains a mix of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons...

s can be combined to form molecule
Molecule
A molecule is an electrically neutral group of at least two atoms held together by covalent chemical bonds. Molecules are distinguished from ions by their electrical charge...

s such as polypeptide chains, which in turn fold and refold to form proteins, which in turn create even more complex structures. These proteins, assuming their functional status from their spatial conformation, interact together and with other molecules to achieve higher biological functions and eventually create an organism
Organism
In biology, an organism is any contiguous living system . In at least some form, all organisms are capable of response to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development, and maintenance of homoeostasis as a stable whole.An organism may either be unicellular or, as in the case of humans, comprise...

. Another example is how cascade phenotype
Phenotype
A phenotype is an organism's observable characteristics or traits: such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, behavior, and products of behavior...

 reactions, as detailed in chaos theory
Chaos theory
Chaos theory is a field of study in mathematics, with applications in several disciplines including physics, economics, biology, and philosophy. Chaos theory studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions, an effect which is popularly referred to as the...

, arise from individual genes mutating respective positioning. At the highest level, all the biological communities
Biocoenosis
A biocoenosis , coined by Karl Möbius in 1877, describes the interacting organisms living together in a habitat . This term is rarely used in English, as this concept has not been popularized in Anglophone countries...

 in the world form the biosphere, where its human participants form societies, and the complex interactions of meta-social systems such as the stock market.

Spontaneous order



Groups of human beings, left free to each regulate themselves, tend to produce spontaneous order
Spontaneous order
Spontaneous order, also known as "self-organization", is the spontaneous emergence of order out of seeming chaos. It is a process found in physical, biological, and social networks, as well as economics, though the term "self-organization" is more often used for physical and biological processes,...

, rather than the meaningless chaos often feared. This has been observed in society at least since Chuang Tzu in ancient China. A classic traffic roundabout
Roundabout
A roundabout is the name for a road junction in which traffic moves in one direction around a central island. The word dates from the early 20th century. Roundabouts are common in many countries around the world...

 is a good example, with cars moving in and out with such effective organization that some modern cities have begun replacing stoplights at problem intersections with traffic circles http://www.terrain.org/articles/2/siegman.htm, and getting better results.

Emergent processes or behaviours can be seen in many places, such as traffic
Traffic
Traffic on roads may consist of pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, streetcars and other conveyances, either singly or together, while using the public way for purposes of travel...

 patterns, cities, political systems of governance
Governance
Governance is the act of governing. It relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. It consists of either a separate process or part of management or leadership processes...

, cabal
Cabal
A cabal is a group of people united in some close design together, usually to promote their private views and/or interests in a church, state, or other community, often by intrigue...

 and market-dominant minority phenomena in politics and economics, organizational phenomena in computer simulation
Computer simulation
A computer simulation, a computer model, or a computational model is a computer program, or network of computers, that attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular system...

s and cellular automata. Whenever you have a multitude of individuals interacting with one another, there often comes a moment when disorder gives way to order and something new emerges: a pattern, a decision, a structure, or a change in direction (Miller 2010, 29).

Economics


The stock market
Stock market
A stock market or equity market is a public entity for the trading of company stock and derivatives at an agreed price; these are securities listed on a stock exchange as well as those only traded privately.The size of the world stock market was estimated at about $36.6 trillion...

 (or any market for that matter) is an example of emergence on a grand scale. As a whole it precisely regulates the relative security prices of companies across the world, yet it has no leader; there is no one entity which controls the workings of the entire market. Agents, or investors, have knowledge of only a limited number of companies within their portfolio, and must follow the regulatory rules of the market and analyse the transactions individually or in large groupings. Trends and patterns emerge which are studied intensively by technical analysts
Technical analysis
In finance, technical analysis is security analysis discipline for forecasting the direction of prices through the study of past market data, primarily price and volume. Behavioral economics and quantitative analysis incorporate technical analysis, which being an aspect of active management stands...

.

World Wide Web and the Internet


The World Wide Web
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

 is a popular example of a decentralized system exhibiting emergent properties. There is no central organization rationing the number of links, yet the number of links pointing to each page follows a power law
Power law
A power law is a special kind of mathematical relationship between two quantities. When the frequency of an event varies as a power of some attribute of that event , the frequency is said to follow a power law. For instance, the number of cities having a certain population size is found to vary...

 in which a few pages are linked to many times and most pages are seldom linked to. A related property of the network of links in the World Wide Web is that almost any pair of pages can be connected to each other through a relatively short chain of links. Although relatively well known now, this property was initially unexpected in an unregulated network. It is shared with many other types of networks called small-world network
Small-world network
In mathematics, physics and sociology, a small-world network is a type of mathematical graph in which most nodes are not neighbors of one another, but most nodes can be reached from every other by a small number of hops or steps...

s.

Internet traffic can also exhibit some seemingly emergent properties. In the congestion control mechanism, TCP
Transmission Control Protocol
The Transmission Control Protocol is one of the core protocols of the Internet Protocol Suite. TCP is one of the two original components of the suite, complementing the Internet Protocol , and therefore the entire suite is commonly referred to as TCP/IP...

 flows can become globally synchronized at bottlenecks, simultaneously increasing and then decreasing throughput in coordination. Congestion, widely regarded as a nuisance, is possibly an emergent property of the spreading of bottlenecks across a network in high traffic flows which can be considered as a phase transition (see review of related research in ).

Another important example of emergence in web-based systems is social bookmarking
Social bookmarking
Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to organize, store, manage and search for bookmarks of resources online. Unlike file sharing, the resources themselves aren't shared, merely bookmarks that reference them....

 (also called collaborative tagging). In social bookmarking systems, users assign tags to resources shared with other users, which gives rise to a type of information organisation that emerges from this crowdsourcing process. Recent research which analyzes empirically the complex dynamics of such systems has shown that consensus on stable distributions and a simple form of shared vocabularies does indeed emerge, even in the absence of a central controlled vocabulary. One believe that this could be because users who contribute tags all use the same language, and they share similar semantic structures underlying the choice of words. The convergence in social tags may therefore be interpreted as the emergence of structures as people who have similar semantic interpretation collaboratively index online information, a process called semantic imitation.

Architecture and cities



Emergent structures appear at many different levels of organization
Integrative level
An integrative level, or level of organization, is a set of phenomena emerging on pre-existing phenomena of lower level. Typical examples include life emerging on non-living substances, and consciousness emerging on nervous systems....

 or as spontaneous order
Spontaneous order
Spontaneous order, also known as "self-organization", is the spontaneous emergence of order out of seeming chaos. It is a process found in physical, biological, and social networks, as well as economics, though the term "self-organization" is more often used for physical and biological processes,...

. Emergent self-organization
Self-organization
Self-organization is the process where a structure or pattern appears in a system without a central authority or external element imposing it through planning...

 appears frequently in cities
City
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 where no planning or zoning entity predetermines the layout of the city. The interdisciplinary study of emergent behaviors is not generally considered a homogeneous field, but divided across its application or problem domains.

Architects and Landscape Architects may not design all the pathways of a complex of buildings. Instead they might let usage patterns emerge and then place pavement where pathways have become worn in.

The on-course action and vehicle progression of the 2007 Urban Challenge
DARPA Grand Challenge
The DARPA Grand Challenge is a prize competition for driverless vehicles, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the most prominent research organization of the United States Department of Defense...

 could possibly be regarded as an example of cybernetic emergence. Patterns of road use, indeterministic obstacle clearance times, etc. will work together to form a complex emergent pattern that can not be deterministically planned in advance.

Architecture firms that work specifically with the concept of Emergence as it relates to the built environment include Emergent Architecture, founded by Tom Wiscombe in 1999. The architectural school of Christopher Alexander
Christopher Alexander
Christopher Wolfgang Alexander is a registered architect noted for his theories about design, and for more than 200 building projects in California, Japan, Mexico and around the world...

 takes a deeper approach to emergence attempting to rewrite the process of urban growth itself in order to affect form, establishing a new methodology of planning and design tied to traditional practices, an Emergent Urbanism. Urban emergence has also been linked to theories of urban complexity and urban evolution .

Building ecology is a conceptual framework for understanding architecture and the built environment as the interface between the dynamically-interdependent elements of buildings, their occupants, and the larger environment. Rather than viewing buildings as inanimate or static objects, building ecologist Hal Levin views them as interfaces or intersecting domains of living and non-living systems. The microbial ecology of the indoor environment is strongly dependent on the building materials, occupants, contents, environmental context and the indoor and outdoor climate. The strong relationship between atmospheric chemistry and indoor air quality and the chemical reactions occurring indoors. The chemicals may be nutrients, neutral or biocides for the microbial organisms. The microbes produce chemicals that affect the building materials and occupant health and well being. Humans manipulate the temperature and humidity to achieve comfort with the concomitant effects on the microbes that populate and evolve.,, and

Computer AI


Some artificially intelligent computer applications utilize emergent behavior for animation. One example is Boids
Boids
Boids is an artificial life program, developed by Craig Reynolds in 1986, which simulates the flocking behaviour of birds. His paper on this topic was published in 1987 in the proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH conference...

, which mimics the swarming behavior of birds.

Language


It has been argued that language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

, or at least language change
Language change
Language change is the phenomenon whereby phonetic, morphological, semantic, syntactic, and other features of language vary over time. The effect on language over time is known as diachronic change. Two linguistic disciplines in particular concern themselves with studying language change:...

, is an emergence phenomenon. While each speaker merely tries to reach her or his own communicative goals, she or he uses language in a particular way. If enough speakers behave in that way, language is changed . In a wider sense, the norms of a language, i.e. the linguistic conventions of its speech society, can be seen as a system emerging from long-time participation in communicative problem-solving in various social circumstances.

Emergent change processes


Within the field of group facilitation and organization development, there have been a number of new group processes that are designed to maximize emergence and self-organization, by offering a minimal set of effective initial conditions. Examples of these processes include Appreciative Inquiry, Future Search
Future Search
Future Search is the name for a 3-day planning meeting that enables people to cooperate in complex situations, including those of high conflict and uncertainty. The method typically involves groups of 40 to 80 people in one room and as many as 300 in parallel conferences...

, the World Cafe or Knowledge Cafe
Knowledge Cafe
A knowledge café or World Café is a type of business meeting or organisational workshop which aims to provide an open and creative conversation on a topic of mutual interest to surface their collective knowledge, share ideas and insights, and gain a deeper understanding of the subject and the...

, Open Space Technology
Open Space Technology
Open-space technology is an approach for hosting meetings, conferences, corporate-style retreats, and community summit events, focused on a specific and important purpose or task—but beginning without any formal agenda, beyond the overall purpose or theme.- Law of two feet :If at any time you find...

, and others. (Holman, 2010)

Emergence in political philosophy


Economist and philosopher Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich August Hayek CH , born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek, was an economist and philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought...

 wrote about emergence in the context of law, politics, and markets. His theories set out the difference between cosmos
Cosmos
In the general sense, a cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system. It originates from the Greek term κόσμος , meaning "order" or "ornament" and is antithetical to the concept of chaos. Today, the word is generally used as a synonym of the word Universe . The word cosmos originates from the same root...

or "grown order" (that is, emergence), and taxis
Taxis
A taxis is an innate behavioral response by an organism to a directional stimulus or gradient of stimulus intensity. A taxis differs from a tropism in that the organism has motility and demonstrates guided movement towards or away from the stimulus source ...

or "made order". Hayek dismisses philosophies that do not adequately recognize the emergent nature of society, and which describe it as the conscious creation of a rational agent (be it God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

, the Sovereign
Sovereign
A sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority within its jurisdiction.Sovereign may also refer to:*Monarch, the sovereign of a monarchy*Sovereign Bank, banking institution in the United States*Sovereign...

, or any kind of personified body politic, such as Hobbes's Leviathan
Leviathan (book)
Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil — commonly called simply Leviathan — is a book written by Thomas Hobbes and published in 1651. Its name derives from the biblical Leviathan...

). The most important social structures, including the laws ("nomos
Nomos
Nomos or Nomoi may refer to:* Nome , a subdivisions of Ancient Egypt* Nome , the administrative division immediately below the peripheries of Greece * law...

") governing the relations between individual persons, are emergent, according to Hayek. While the idea of laws and markets as emergent phenomena comes fairly naturally to an economist, and was indeed present in the works of early economists such as Bernard Mandeville, David Hume
David Hume
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment...

, and Adam Smith
Adam Smith
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations...

, Hayek traces the development of ideas based on spontaneous-order throughout the history of Western thought, occasionally going as far back as the presocratics. In this, he follows Karl Popper
Karl Popper
Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH FRS FBA was an Austro-British philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics...

, who blamed the idea of the state as a made order on Plato in The Open Society and its Enemies
The Open Society and Its Enemies
The Open Society and Its Enemies is an influential two-volume work by Karl Popper written during World War II. Failing to find a publisher in the United States, it was first printed in London by Routledge in 1945...

. Emergentism is a rejection of the state on the grounds that it is a perversion of the emergent rules that societies form spontaneously. Some 19th-century classical liberals, notably Gustave de Molinari
Gustave de Molinari
Gustave de Molinari was an economist born in Belgium associated with French laissez-faire liberal economists such as Frédéric Bastiat and Hippolyte Castille. Living in Paris, in the 1840s, he took part in the "Ligue pour la Liberté des Échanges" , animated by Frédéric Bastiat...

 and Frédéric Bastiat
Frédéric Bastiat
Claude Frédéric Bastiat was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly. He was notable for developing the important economic concept of opportunity cost.-Biography:...

, were known advocates of an emergent society and wrote about the concepts in detail. See The Production of Security and The Law, respectively.

See also


  • Agent-based model
  • Anthropic principle
    Anthropic principle
    In astrophysics and cosmology, the anthropic principle is the philosophical argument that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it. Some proponents of the argument reason that it explains why the Universe has the age and the fundamental...

  • Causality
    Causality
    Causality is the relationship between an event and a second event , where the second event is understood as a consequence of the first....

  • Chaos theory
    Chaos theory
    Chaos theory is a field of study in mathematics, with applications in several disciplines including physics, economics, biology, and philosophy. Chaos theory studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions, an effect which is popularly referred to as the...

  • Connectionism
    Connectionism
    Connectionism is a set of approaches in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience and philosophy of mind, that models mental or behavioral phenomena as the emergent processes of interconnected networks of simple units...

  • Constructal theory
    Constructal theory
    The constructal law puts forth the idea that the generation of design in nature is a physics phenomenon that unites all animate and inanimate systems, and that this phenomenon is covered by the Constructal Law...

  • Dynamical system
    Dynamical system
    A dynamical system is a concept in mathematics where a fixed rule describes the time dependence of a point in a geometrical space. Examples include the mathematical models that describe the swinging of a clock pendulum, the flow of water in a pipe, and the number of fish each springtime in a...

  • Determinism
    Determinism
    Determinism is the general philosophical thesis that states that for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given them, nothing else could happen. There are many versions of this thesis. Each of them rests upon various alleged connections, and interdependencies of things and...

  • Deus ex machina
    Deus ex machina
    A deus ex machina is a plot device whereby a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object.-Linguistic considerations:...

  • Emergenesis
    Emergenesis
    In psychology, a trait is called emergenic if it is the result of a specific combination of several interacting genes . Emergenic traits will not run in families, but identical twins will share them...


  • Emergent algorithm
    Emergent algorithm
    An emergent algorithm is an algorithm that has the following characteristics:* it achieves predictable global effects* it does not require global visibility* it does not assume any kind of centralized control* it is self-stabilizing...

  • Emergent gameplay
    Emergent gameplay
    Emergent gameplay refers to complex situations in video games, board games, or table top role-playing games that emerge from the interaction of relatively simple game mechanics....

  • Emergent organization
    Emergent organization
    The term emergent organizations first appeared in the late 1990s and was the topic of the Seventh Annual Washington Evolutionary Systems Conference at University of Ghent, Belgium in May, 1999....

  • Epiphenomenon
    Epiphenomenon
    An epiphenomenon is a secondary phenomenon that occurs alongside or in parallel to a primary phenomenon.-Medicine:...

  • Externality
    Externality
    In economics, an externality is a cost or benefit, not transmitted through prices, incurred by a party who did not agree to the action causing the cost or benefit...

  • Flocking (behaviour)
  • Free will
    Free will
    "To make my own decisions whether I am successful or not due to uncontrollable forces" -Troy MorrisonA pragmatic definition of free willFree will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. The existence of free will and its exact nature and definition have long...

  • Generative sciences
    Generative sciences
    The generative science is a interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary science that explores the natural world and its complex behaviours as a generative process...

  • Holism
    Holism
    Holism is the idea that all the properties of a given system cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone...

  • Innovation butterfly
    Innovation butterfly
    The Innovation Butterfly is a metaphor that describes how seemingly minor perturbations to project plans in a system connecting markets, demand, product features, and a firm's capabilities can steer the project, or an entire portfolio of projects, down an irreversible path in terms of technology...


  • Interconnectedness
  • Irreducible complexity
    Irreducible complexity
    Irreducible complexity is an argument by proponents of intelligent design that certain biological systems are too complex to have evolved from simpler, or "less complete" predecessors, through natural selection acting upon a series of advantageous naturally occurring, chance mutations...

  • Mass action
    Mass action
    In Chemistry, the law of mass action is a mathematical model that explains and predicts behaviors of solutions in dynamic equilibrium. It can be described with two aspects: 1) the equilibrium aspect, concerning the composition of a reaction mixture at equilibrium and 2) the kinetic aspect...

  • Neural networks
    Neural Networks
    Neural Networks is the official journal of the three oldest societies dedicated to research in neural networks: International Neural Network Society, European Neural Network Society and Japanese Neural Network Society, published by Elsevier...

  • Polytely
    Polytely
    Polytely can be described as frequently, complex problem-solving situations characterized by the presence of not one, but several goals, endings.Modern societies face an increasing incidence of various complex problems...

  • Reductionism
    Reductionism
    Reductionism can mean either an approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things or a philosophical position that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts, and that an account of it can...

  • Society of Mind theory
  • Swarm intelligence
    Swarm intelligence
    Swarm intelligence is the collective behaviour of decentralized, self-organized systems, natural or artificial. The concept is employed in work on artificial intelligence...

  • System of Systems
    System of systems
    System of systems is a collection of task-oriented or dedicated systems that pool their resources and capabilities together to create a new, more complex system which offers more functionality and performance than simply the sum of the constituent systems...

  • Systems intelligence
    Systems intelligence
    Systems intelligence is human action that connects sensitivity about a systemic environment with systems thinking, thus spurring a person's problem solving capabilities and invoking performance and productivity in everyday situations. Systems intelligence, abbreviated SI, is intelligent behavior in...



External links