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A diagram of emergence of consciousness, according Erik Hoel (2017), a neuroscientist, showing an "agent causally emerge from underlying atoms and microphysics".[1]

In terms, emergence (TR:196) (LH:9) (TL:205), from emerge-, meaning: "appear suddenly out of dark cave", + -ence, meaning: "action or process", is the premise, oft-floated in new age publications, that at every higher level of complexity "different kinds of laws operate" (Capra, 1996)[2], the implicit assumption being that these laws are "above" those of physics and chemistry; or that "whole is greater than the sum of two parts" (Broad, 1925)[3], aka "holism", the classic example being the argument that just as the property of "liquidness" of water is not something found its two parts: hydrogen and oxygen, so to is the property of "mentality" not found in the materialistic parts of a human, aka "mind emerged from matter". Emergence tends to be a theory opposed to reductionism.


In 2003, Libb Thims, his Beg analysis of the emergence-like terms employed, in an overlapping manner, in Fritjof Capra’s Web of Life (1996), Alicia Juarrero’s Dynamics of Action (1999), and Terrence Deacon’s Incomplete Nature (2011), found the following E-based word usage patterns:[4]

Emergence (word patterns).png

Here, we see the terms "emergence", "emerged", and "emergent property" being employed, by these three authors, as a way to argue some point of view, just past the point of coming out of a "dark cave", as a motif used to ignore any and all underlying details, before the point of the dark/light boundary or edge of the cave.


The following are quotes:

“The question of emergence: is it really true that there are new kinds of laws that govern complex systems? Yes, of course, in the sense that different levels of experience call for description and analysis in different terms. The same is just as true for chemistry as for chaos. But fundamental new kinds of laws? Gleick’s lynch mob provides a counterexample.”
Steven Weinberg (1992), Dreams of a Final Theory (pg. 62) [5]

End matter

See also


  1. (a) Hoel, Erik P. (2017). “Agent Above, Atom Below: How Agents Causally Emerge from the Underlying Microphysics” (abs), FQXi Community, Mar 6.
    (b) Wolchover, Natalie. (2017). “A Theory of Reality as More than the Sum of its Parts” (Ѻ), Quanta Magazine, Jun 1.
  2. Capra, Fritjof. (2002). The Hidden Connections: A Science for Sustainable Living (sugar, pgs. 41-42). Anchor Books.
  3. Broad, Charles. (1925). The Mind and its Place in Nature (pgs. 61-64; mentality, pg. 650). Routledge.
  4. Thims, Libb. (2013). “Juarrero, Deacon, Nonreductive Physical Materialism, and Chemical Teleology” (pdf) (peer), Journal of Human Thermodynamics (Ѻ), 9(6): 77-122, Jun.
  5. Weinberg, Steven. (1992). Dreams of a Final Theory: the Scientist’s Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature (pg. 62). Random House.
  6. Emergent property – Hmolpedia 2020.

External links

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