Emergence is a phenomenon of formation of collective properties in systems. These properties do not exist at the level of individual components but emerge from the interaction of such components. For example, the traffic jam wave propagates in an opposite direction from that of the vehicles (components) of the traffic system. Waves that sports fans create propagate in perpendicular direction to the one that fans (components) move (up-down).The properties such as viscosity, stiffness, brittleness, thinking and double pass cannot be ascribed to individual atoms or molecules, neurons or players, respectively. A painting, a music piece or sculpture is a property of the arrangement of many components. Individual components (point colors, individual notes, local spatial carves) are not themselves a painting, music piece or sculpture. Neither bricks nor integrated circuits, themselves, have the functional emergent properties which houses and computers have, respectively.
Emergent properties are collective properties. Social collective properties like: value systems, religions, ideologies, fashions, artistic tastes, science research programs etc., arise as emergent collective, macroscopic properties and guide the behavior of system’s components (human beings). Vice versa, because the components behave as the emergent collective variable dictates, they further stabilize its existence. What happens locally, how each component behaves, depends on the collective variable. This effect is known as circular causality. For example, the local political events are guided by global geopolitical and geostrategic interests of globally dominant financial, economic and, hence, political powers. Armed conflicts, coup d’ etats, etc. are almost always governed or at least influenced by the clash of a few polarized global geostrategic values (interests, ideologies, religions or a mix of these …). Depending on the final result of the political event one of the polarized collective values will be temporarily stabilized.
Robert Hristovski 17.03.2015