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Kjetil

Weak vs. Strong Emergence

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Da Vinci was 62 a paltry 500 yrs ago, I think he would have been able to fathom some of those notions.

 

Emergence is a rather cumbersome and perhaps non-useful concept, and invalid  when its use obliterates the law of identity. In the analogy between carbon atoms and molecules of carbon atoms plugging emergent properties 'into the mix' illustrates the point. Firstly, unless I am mistaken, carbon doesn't exist as single atoms floating around such that they would have properties in isolation. If that were the case, would not  the properties of the carbon atoms 'emerge' from its constiuent parts of sub atomic particles ect ect.. Diamonds are diamonds, graphite is graphite. If you change graphite's crystalline structure to diamond , its a diamond , not diamond somehow nee graphite. Properties don't emerge from or come into being within a system, as if the system made of its constituent parts, is someow in limbo or quasi existence prior to the assembly of the parts into said system. The system has the properties it has and not those it doesn't, yes?

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What is the difference between simulation and "a priori" analysis? Is a simulation not just an analysis that takes many, many steps?

In this context, it means that even if you knew all there is to know about the components, you can't deduce how the system of those components works - you'd need to observe the system as a whole to see how it works.

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Da Vinci was 62 a paltry 500 yrs ago, I think he would have been able to fathom some of those notions.

 

Emergence is a rather cumbersome and perhaps non-useful concept, and invalid  when its use obliterates the law of identity. In the analogy between carbon atoms and molecules of carbon atoms plugging emergent properties 'into the mix' illustrates the point. Firstly, unless I am mistaken, carbon doesn't exist as single atoms floating around such that they would have properties in isolation. If that were the case, would not  the properties of the carbon atoms 'emerge' from its constiuent parts of sub atomic particles ect ect.. Diamonds are diamonds, graphite is graphite. If you change graphite's crystalline structure to diamond , its a diamond , not diamond somehow nee graphite. Properties don't emerge from or come into being within a system, as if the system made of its constituent parts, is someow in limbo or quasi existence prior to the assembly of the parts into said system. The system has the properties it has and not those it doesn't, yes?

 

YES.

 

Another thing to keep in mind, the carbon does not disappear into diamond or graphite, it IS diamond or graphite because in either case of Diamond or Graphite ALL there is or ever was is carbon.  Carbon in different forms, different arrangements, with different properties... with different names.

 

 

I'm still curious about an example of weak emergence in any natural system other than the mind. (I think the mind is fraught with too many issues to be a good candidate for isolating/analyzing weak emergence as a concept.)  Eioul?

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I know I've posted today, but bigger posts I do later in the week. The mind/cognitive science is the area I've studied the most, but a lot of biology has systems that is good for discussing emergence. Society is okay sometimes, at least in terms of whole economic systems. Chemistry is a good field that, but I know the least about that. Geology, in terms of how two minerals with different behaviors yet identical elements as in diamonds or graphite. Meteorology, ecology. Anything with a notable system, really. 

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So in all of these areas: mind, biology, sociology, chemistry, geology, meteorology, etc. you feel that "even if you knew all there is to know about the components, you can't deduce how the system of those components works"?

 

This is interesting.  Does "how the components behave in systems" constitute part of the "all there is to know" about the components?

 

 

Certainly "all there is about the component's" natures determines in reality how the system of those components works, otherwise there would have to be something else ACTING or CAUSING "how the system of those components works", other than "all there is about the components".  A kind of invisible or mystical force perhaps?...but we both dismiss such a thing.

 

 

So we end up with a gap or dichotomy between one or both of the following pairs:

 

A) "all there is to know about the components"; and

B ) "all there is about the components"

 

1) from all there is to know about all the components our deducing how the system of those components work ; and

2) all there is about the components determining how the system of those components work

 

 

Of these pairs where is the gap/dichotomy, one or both, and why?

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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The point is you'd have to observe a system to know how the components interact. I said deduce rather than observe for this very reason. I wouldn't be able to study isolated components and then know how a system of those components interact. I can't study only neurons to figure out how the brain works, I have to study a system. I can't study only a molecule to figure out how life works, I have to study them as a specific system.

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In this context, it means that even if you knew all there is to know about the components, you can't deduce how the system of those components works - you'd need to observe the system as a whole to see how it works.

I think it's better suited to the opposite direction; attempting to deduce the parts from the whole, rather than the whole from the parts.

And you absolutely can deduce the parts from an observation of the whole- but only with the concept of emergence (or any logical equivalent).  There is no other way.

 

SL:  In any system of interacting entities, any of its properties are "emergent" if they cannot be properly conceptualized without reference to multiple entities.

 

Gravitational force, for example, is a product of interacting masses and ultimately stems from the individual constituents, and their relation to each other.  But any attempt to adduce the cause of the Earth's motion, in isolation [without reference to the other entities involved]. . .

 A kind of invisible or mystical force perhaps?

 

"Emergence" is not a metaphysically necessary concept; reality itself does not make such distinctions.

"Emergence" is absolutely, epistemologically indispensable, because of our own nature.

 

What we label as "emergent" is any disparity between our implicit categorization of separate entities, and metaphysical separation (non-interaction).

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold

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This paper seems to address some of the differences between simulation and deductive analysis.

 

http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/13/1/9.html

 

It's definition is clearer than that of Wikipedia... Emergent properties are not deducible from analysis, are possible to discover by simulation, and simulation alone.

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The paper has bad metaphysics. It describes the 'simulation' of a game, and hints at implication for the simulation of real things; these are two very different types of simulation! I disagree with point 4.6 strongly, but that may be a matter for another thread. And what about the paper's objections to the definition? For example, if I have a computer running a simulation of the GoL, I could have it produce a deductive proof that its simulation is correct at the same time (at a huge cost in speed).

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Consciousness is a dynamic process, like abstraction. The conscious entities IDENTIFY things, direct motion etc.

Consciousness is identification. Is identification a substance or something a substantial entity does?

Edited by Plasmatic

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Conceded.

Within a slightly better understood realm, which part of a single-celled organism engages in metabolic action?

Causal reductionism is an integral part of identification; we can't simply choose a different approach.

So in matters such as those, our alternatives are "holism" (ie not even attempting to understand) or reductionism via "emergent" actions.

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