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Aaron
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PostSubject: Emergentism   Wed May 16, 2007 2:02 pm

I bring this up because it seems to work with your model Travis. Especially the last paragraph when the author refers to his "V" shaped model. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

Quote :
Introduction to Emergentism:
Emergence theories are explanations of a phenomena's development out of a background -- which could not have been predicted. In particular, the development could not be predicted by looking at the phenomenon's component parts. Coming from the opposite direction, Reductionism says every phenomenon can be explained by its component parts. So, two popular ways of looking for explanations are 1) Reductionism which thinks from the top-down and 2) Emergentism which thinks from the bottom-up. Examples of Reductionism are science's molecular biology to explain life, the idea that biology can be explained by chemistry, chemistry explained by physics, (e.g., Relativity theory, Quantum theory) and in general, everything can be ultimately explained by Cosmology. The Theory of Everything (TOE) is the ultimate Reductionist theory. Examples of Emergentism are aeronautical laws of flight, self-organizing systems (including non-equilibrium thermodynamics and dissipative structures) such as crystal formation. Also very important are Scaling phenomena (also called Power Laws) such as the Gutenberg-Richter Earthquake power law, and the Titius-Bode planetary spacing power law. Population Dynamics also has a power law for density vs. biological organism length Scaling phenomenon. Stephen J. Gould's Punctuated Equilibrium interpretation of Darwin's theory of Evolution forms an emergent theory. Also, Stuart Kauffman is starting to use molecular biology's DNA/RNA and genetics reductionism, as an emergent property to explain Evolution. Karl Popper formulated an emergent theory of Evolution, published in 1994.

Reductionism has been going on for centuries by taking things apart to find out what makes them work. This type of reverse engineering still has its place, however, much of the problems we need to solve today require something more along the lines of finding out how things work in complex systems. The aeronautical laws of flight, lift, was not discovered by dismantling birds, but that was attempted by Reductionists and the effort failed. Emergentism is designed for this kind of problem solving situation. Emergentism is about putting parts together into complex systems rather than taking things apart into simpler systems.

Authoritarianism:
This is the traditional way of looking at the situation -- it must be either Reductionism or Emergentism, but not both. Unfortunately, this tends to polarize the two groups into authoritarian Reductionists who think Emergentism is unnecessary pseudoscience vs. the authoritarian Emergentists who think Reductionism has totally outlived its usefulness.

I however, do not subscribe to either of these two extremist positions. To me, the situation looks like the letter-V. Starting at the top left is biology, moving down the V is chemistry, further down is physics, and we bottom-out at Cosmology and a TOE. We need not end there. We can also go back up the right side of the V by using Emergentism. We move from Cosmology to physics, to chemistry, and to biology. Maybe we can even go further up to consciousness, behavior, psychology, sociology, economics and culture. Along the way up we might find economics an emergent system coming from human behavior and that behavior is described back down the V, by using Reductionism of a complex market place. Here, we might think Emergentism bridges over to Reductionism, from the right to the left side of the V -- making an inverted letter-A looking diagram. My point is that Emergentism and Reductionism is part of the same continuum of explanation sliding, up and down, and lateral bridging in both directions.

http://home.earthlink.net/~enigl/CE.htm

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Travis Clementsmith
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PostSubject: Re: Emergentism   Wed May 16, 2007 2:46 pm

It certainly is along the same ideas, but it actually has more in common with Larry Copling's Reflexive Model. Interesting to see from a more materialist bent.

-TC

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PostSubject: Re: Emergentism   Wed May 16, 2007 4:31 pm

Travis Clementsmith wrote:
It certainly is along the same ideas, but it actually has more in common with Larry Copling's Reflexive Model. Interesting to see from a more materialist bent.

-TC

This guy is actually a realist rather then a materialist. Interesting none the less.

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Travis Clementsmith
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PostSubject: Re: Emergentism   Wed May 16, 2007 7:18 pm

Here is the chart it reminded me of:


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PostSubject: Re: Emergentism   Wed May 16, 2007 8:54 pm

Yes here's another version of it.


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