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SUBJECT CLASSIFICATION: 04.04 (Emergent and Hierarchical Systems) Emergence and The Problem of Observation
 

Summary: SUBJECT CLASSIFICATION: 04.04 (Emergent and Hierarchical Systems)
Emergence and The Problem of Observation
S.M.Ali and R.M.Zimmer
Department of Computer Science
Brunel University
Uxbridge UB8 3PH
England (UK)
syed.mustafa.ali@brunel.ac.uk
ABSTRACT
Baas (1993,1996,1997) presents a formal framework for explaining emergence in category-
theoretic terms. On this scheme, emergence denotes the generation of higher-level stuctures
(or emergent-wholes) as a consequence of interactions between lower-level structures such
that properties associated with higher-level structure are non-observable at lower-levels. Two
kinds of emergence are distinguished: (1) deductive or computational emergence and (2)
observational or non-computational emergence. In the former, a procedure (algorithm) for
determining emergent properties associated with higher-level structures from the components
and interactions at lower phenomenal levels can be specified; for the latter, this is impossible.
(Baas (1993) cites the existence of Gödel sentences in support of observational emergence.)
On this framework, emergence is held to be largely an epistemological phenomenon since it
is primarily concerned with issues of observation and only derivatively concerned with issues

  

Source: Ali, Syed Mustafa - Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology, Open University

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences