Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Emergence is central to the theories of integrative levels and of complex systems. Emergence’ is a notion that is used in different philosophical and scientiﬁc disciplines in order to capture phenomena in which some properties of composed wholes seem to ‘go beyond’ the properties of the components and their arrangement. Emergent phenomena are higher-level phenomena that somehow depend on lower-level goings-on, but are, at the same time, independent of them in important respects.
There are many examples of emergence including the sophistication of an ant colony, our brains, cities and even some companies. Many times the individual parts that make up these systems are of no interest or are not extraordinary on their own, but when combined make some of the most interesting systems in our environment. This topic was inspired by a Radiolab podcast (http://www.radiolab.org/blogs/radiolab-blogland/2013/mar/19/rebroadcast-emergence/) and really has no specific agenda so please bring interesting questions and examples for discussion.
For this discussion we will identify and discuss examples of strong and weak emergence, discuss the utility of such systems and contemplate other future examples that may arise from the emergence of existing systems. We will also discuss the use of this in science and other disciplines.