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Author Topic:   THE SIMPLICITY OF THE COMPLEX SYSTEMS - essay about origin of Life
miosim
Member (Idle past 4229 days)
Posts: 57
From: NH, USA
Joined: 04-07-2007


Message 1 of 29 (394948)
04-14-2007 6:55 AM


Originally I plan to post an essay about Origin of Life in which: "...the widely accepted paradigm that "The whole is more than the sum of its parts" is challenged. It is argued that no system properties emerge, but a cumulative effect and interaction in the system just reveals the part’s hidden properties that cause a perception of Emergence phenomena. A system acts as a “litmus paper” and a “magnifying glass” that just reveal the element’s properties not observable otherwise.
Based on this approach, the explanation of the living system phenomenon is proposed that Consciousness is the fundamental property of Matter that is just not observable in the non-living systems. Consciousness property of subatomic Matter is not recognized by fundamentally incomplete quantum mechanics theory. Consciousness property of Matter also is not observable in the thermodynamically equilibrium systems. However if a system steered far enough from an equilibrium and past a critical point, a non-equilibrium system will emerge. The further development of these systems in the direction out from equilibrium will reveal the property that causes the phenomenon we call - LIFE".

However, Administrator suggested that I should narrow my discussion, so I extracted from this essay the introduction section:"IS WHOLE MORE THAN SUM OF ITS PARTS?" that is presented below. If you want to read this essay, you may find it at http://www.iscid.org/papers/Iosim_ComplexSystemSimplicity.pdf

IS WHOLE MORE THAN SUM OF ITS PARTS?

I have always been intrigued by the fact that such a mysteriously complex system, as a living cell, consists of components – organelles and macromolecules - which behavior have been routinely explained in term of chemistry and physics. My curiosity eventually led me to a hypothesis about emergence of Life, but unfortunately, this hypothesis undermines the widely accepted Holistic paradigm often referred as "The whole is more than the sum of its parts." In this discussion I would like to explain why I have problem with this paradigm.

There are two major radically different approaches to explain living systems – Reductionism and Holism.

According to Reductionism, all properties and the complexity of the system could be derived from studying its parts and their interactions. Reductionism accepts that in many cases it was not currently possible for science to make such deduction and predictions - this shortcoming is a reflection of the state of the art in science. For example, it took thousands of years to reduce the enormous variety and complexity of motions and dynamics around us, to the simple Newtonian mechanics.

During the first half of the 20th century the shift in paradigm occurred. Reductionism, as was concluded, is a limited methodological tool applicable to the simple systems only, but to solve the complex phenomena, like Life, the new Holistic approach is more adequate. Holism declares that the essential properties of a system as a whole could not be explained using properties of its elements, because "The whole is more than the sum of its parts.” According to this paradigm, some systems, especially Biological, are so COMPLEX that their behavior are EMERGENT and cannot be deduced from the properties of the elements alone.

British emergentists of the late-nineteenth century worked out a comprehensive emergentist picture using classical examples from basic chemistry: “When chemical ingredients are mixed together the resultant compounds (Whole) has a property that cannot be found in the original ingredients”. However the underlying chemical reactions in these examples are completely reducible to basic chemistry and physics and nothing unexplained emerges in this case. So, why an explanation of chemical reactions need an Emergence semantic is a mystery to me. Emergence, as scientific category, in my opinion, is appropriate only to designate unexpected and unexplained phenomenon of the system development. However, after being explained, this phenomenon should loose status of Emergence.

Within Holism, Emergence is treated as an objective scientific category, and numerous but unsuccessful attempts were made to scientifically define and even measure it. However, as I see it, Emergence is just a reflection of a subjective human perception. For example, if we ask habitants of some town, that had undergone a significant transformation, to describe these changes, the description depends on whom you ask: one who just came back after being absent many years will describe the changes in term of sudden transformation and emergence, but one who lives there all the time will describe it in term of gradual development.

I have a similar problem with the enormously popular science of Complex Systems that also treats Complexity as an objective and measurable category. For a long time, the numerous attempts to define Complexity were made, but without noticeable result. As with Emergence, the main problem with Complexity is its subjectivity, because it reflects our insufficient knowledge and inability to comprehend observed phenomena or a problem. Therefore Complexity should not be used as an absolute scientific category, but relative to observer only. For example, what is more complex: to build a house, surgically remove an appendix, or solve a linear differential equation? The answer depends on whom you ask - Carpenter, Surgeon, or Mathematician.

My growing suspicion of Holism led me to reexamine evidences supporting this paradigm. However instead of credible evidences, I found the numerous examples that just demonstrate a lack of critical thinking.

For example, according to Holism, “Emergence is associated with dynamic systems whose behavior cannot be predicted from knowledge about the parts IN ISOLATION.” However, it is important to understand that an ISOLATED part will not exhibit any properties at all. When we refer to an experiment on an isolated part, it is actually not isolated. Instead, the part is placed in the controlled environment and is subjected to specific interaction that reveals the property specific to this interaction. A problem arises when the part has a property we do not know about, so we never intentionally subject the part to specific interaction that could reveal this property. If within a natural system this part participates in an interaction that reveals this property, we often claim that this system exhibits new properties emergence.

A good example that demonstrates the properties that are observable only during interaction is electrical charge. We know that an electron possesses an electrical charge, but we cannot observe this property unless the electron interacts with another charged particle. We do not declare that the charge property of the electron emerges during interaction with another charged particle. Instead we know that the electron always posses the charge (whether we observe it or not) and reveals this property only while interacting with another charged particle.

There is, however, a unique case, where the system property indeed could not be predicted from examining its part – this case is the Universal Gravity phenomenon. The gravitational force is the property of elementary particles but it cannot be directly observed, because it is extremely small: for an electron it is equal to 10E-39 of electrical forces. However, this property being accumulated into the macro system starts to play a dominant role in Space. I think that the gravitation force of a macro system could be the best evidence in favor of Emergence phenomenon, and the systems theorists loose their best opportunity by not including it in the foundation of the system theory. Putting aside an irony, the lesson of this example is that by describing properties of a system through the properties of its parts, it is critical to not overlook a property having a very low level of intensity. In general, we never should claim complete knowledge of a part, because we cannot subject it to all possible experimental conditions or observe it in all natural systems.

Another typical “evidence” that laid a foundation of the Emergence paradigm I found in the book “The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems” by Capra Fritjof. The following segment was used to illustrate this concept: “The taste of sugar as a system phenomena could not be found in the carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms that constitute sugar components." In this example the whole was limited to sugar only and the very crucial element of the system is missing – SOMEONE who tastes the sugar and constitutes the sugar taste property.

The majority of examples, the system approach based on, omits the invisible SOMEONE who designed, tests, observes or designates the processes. Without this SOMEONE, the system properties as taste of sugar would not exist at all. Omitting the creator or user of the system is the far most common mistake in the system approach. For example, a complex computer is built of the simple semiconductor components and it seems that the “computational intelligence” of the computer is a new emerging phenomenon, because it cannot be found in its parts. However, the complexity of the computer is also due to Property (complexity) of HUMAN INTELLIGENCE, which was not seen while we were observing the computer. This HUMAN INTELLIGENCE is also one of the system’s component and his/her properties determine the Complexity of the semiconductor components, the complex wiring of logic components, and sophisticated algorithms. In other word, there are no emerging properties in this example and the properties of a computer (Whole) could be reduced to the properties of its elements that include the creators of this computer.

It seems that irresistible attractiveness of the Holistic paradigm causes many reducible to underlining rules phenomena, like Cellular Automaton (CA), to be included into the list of Irreducibly Complex and Emergence phenomena. It is often claimed that CA exhibits symptoms of Emergence phenomenon, because CA may generate a complex, unpredictable pattern that cannot be determined without performing actual computations. If this type of unpredictability is a symptom of Emergence phenomena, any natural number A, resulted from B + C, also belongs to emergence phenomenon, because A is unpredictable without performing an actual calculation!!! While observing the complex pattern of CA, it is important to remember that it results not of a simple rule only, but of applying a very complex tool also – a computer (or human intelligence, if modeling/calculation is performed manually) to reveal the result. Therefore, the complexity of the observable pattern includes also a complexity of a computational process and eventually a human intelligence, not visible while we observe the CA pattern.

Another classic example of Emergence phenomenon is an ant colony. “Despite the limited repertoire of the individual agents - the ants - the colony exhibits a remarkable flexibility in probing and exploiting its surroundings. Somehow the simple laws of the agents generate an emergent behavior far beyond their individual capacities”.
My problem with this example is – what do we know about ant’s individual capacity? What was done to reveal ant’s complexity? Did we examine an assumption that complexity of ant colony is due to accumulated complexity of the individual ants, the same way as the enormous sophistication of the Human civilization is due to a limited intelligence of Human-Beings. By the way, a Human would hardly demonstrate any intelligence, if He or She would be studied and treated the same way as we study bugs in a jar. To reveal an intelligence of any creature we need to create a special circumstance - an intelligent type of interaction that occurs in the social system.

The phenomenon of self-organizing bifurcation dissipative systems and their spatial resemblance with living systems challenges our imagination. These phenomena are widely used as an example of Irreducible Complexity and Emergence. These systems are studied very extensively, however regardless Holistic terminology, these phenomena have being explained (reduced) to the underlying processes of chemistry of non-linear thermodynamics.

I am challenging the Holistic paradigm, not only because of lack of compelling evidences. My biggest concern is that this paradigm, if incorrect, will focus Life sciences in the wrong direction delaying the answer to the ultimate question - What is Life? Over the past hundred of years, holistic approach has produced a large body of theories; however, I did not notice its impact into understanding a living system phenomenon. Instead Holism fills a void between Dead Mater and Life with a metaphysical concept of Emergence and vague terminology.

To summarize my main point I am concluding that: No new system properties emerge, but interactions in the system just reveal the part’s hidden properties. A system acts as a “magnifying glass” and a “litmus paper” that reveals properties of the parts not observable otherwise. This means that a nature of complex things could be reduced* to the nature of sums of simpler or more fundamental things and therefore a WHOLE IS EQUAL TO THE SUM OF ITS PARTS.

*Do not mix it up with the narrow interpretation of Reductionism that reduces to the well KNOWN laws of the Physics and Chemistry”. I will return to this point in future discussions.

Mark Iosim

P.S. I know that I am a lousy communicator, and not only because English is my second language. If you find some questionable words or expressions that make my point unclear, please let me know.

Edited by miosim, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
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Admin
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Message 2 of 29 (394949)
04-14-2007 6:58 AM


Thread created from Message 8 of thread THE SIMPLICITY OF THE COMPLEX SYSTEMS - essay about origin of Life in Proposed New Topics.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

  
MartinV 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4380 days)
Posts: 502
From: Slovakia, Bratislava
Joined: 08-28-2006


Message 3 of 29 (394951)
04-14-2007 8:19 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by miosim
04-14-2007 6:55 AM



The gravitational force is the property of elementary particles but it cannot be directly observed, because it is extremely small: for an electron it is equal to 10E-39 of electrical forces.

I don't know what a progress physics made last years but according Einstein's relativity we were unable to distiguish gravity force from force due acceleration. So I think gravity is not good example considering the fact that grativity constant can probably change during time (according Dirac and some other nowadays scientists too).


A system acts as a “magnifying glass” and a “litmus paper” that reveals properties of the parts not observable otherwise. This means that a nature of complex things could be reduced* to the nature of sums of simpler or more fundamental things and therefore a WHOLE IS EQUAL TO THE SUM OF ITS PARTS.

This is interesting. It sounds like some ancient theories that in microcosmos is hidden macrocosmos.
Anyway in time being I am convinced that studying lower levels (reductionism) did not help in biology to underestand higher ones. Adolf Portmann dismissed such studies too - studying what is behind scene/stage doesn't help us to underestand what is Shakspeare play about either. Studying genome sequences do not explain mimicry patterns on wings - their meaning, their evolution etc. I have written about this in thread Mimicry and neodarwinism.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by miosim, posted 04-14-2007 6:55 AM miosim has responded

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miosim
Member (Idle past 4229 days)
Posts: 57
From: NH, USA
Joined: 04-07-2007


Message 4 of 29 (394957)
04-14-2007 10:00 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by MartinV
04-14-2007 8:19 AM


IS THE WHOLE MORE THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS?
Quote:
“I don't know what a progress physics made last years but according Einstein's relativity we were unable to distiguish gravity force from force due acceleration. So I think gravity is not good example considering the fact that grativity constant can probably change during time (according Dirac and some other nowadays scientists too).”

It is possible that my example of gravity property is not up to date with modern physics. I probably oversimplified it to demonstrate the simple case when a property of part could not be observed, but in the system this properties, being accumulated, became observable. Could you help me to revise this example to be more up to date or may be you know other similar and simple example?

Quote:
“Anyway in time being I am convinced that studying lower levels (reductionism) did not help in biology to underestand higher ones. … studying what is behind scene/stage doesn't help us to underestand what is Shakspeare play about either. Studying genome sequences do not explain mimicry patterns on wings - their meaning, their evolution etc ...”

Reductionism you are referring to, is what I call a narrow interpretation of Reductionism where we attempt to reduce a system property to the SUPPOSE to be WELL KNOWN properties of elements or underlaying mechanisms. However, if we admit that everything we know today about Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is fundamentally incomplete, we would understand why reduction approach is failing to explain a gap between dead Matter and Life or between Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Actually, my post is nothing to do with subject of Evolution and was posted here by mistake. Instead it should belong to ORIGINAL OF LIFE section; I am trying to fix it, by negotiating with Administrator.

Originally I plan to post an essay about Origin of Life (that may answer some of your concerns), but Administrator suggested that I should narrow my discussion. As a result, I extracted from this essay the introduction section that just demonstrates existing System approach may lead Life Sciences into wrong direction.
If you want to read this essay you may find it at http://www.iscid.org/papers/Iosim_ComplexSystemSimplicity.pdf

Mark

P.S. I am a new member and still learning. I haven’t yet figure out how to enclose a quote into a Box, as you did.

Edited by miosim, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by MartinV, posted 04-14-2007 8:19 AM MartinV has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Brad McFall, posted 04-14-2007 10:23 AM miosim has responded
 Message 7 by MartinV, posted 04-14-2007 11:49 AM miosim has not yet responded

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3584 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 5 of 29 (394958)
04-14-2007 10:23 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by miosim
04-14-2007 10:00 AM


Regarding your PS
If you see some format in a post that interests you, one can copy the code used to produce it but clicking on the
peek
button at the bottom of each post. There are also resources on the home page of EVC.

These boxes are made by placing one's content between the following "["qs"]"place content here"["/qs"]". You do not use the "quote marks. I added also the bold here. It is done the same way except "b&/b" are used instead.

Click on peek, copy to your clipboard the area of interest, delete the other posters content and insert yours. That's all there is to it.


This message is a reply to:
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miosim
Member (Idle past 4229 days)
Posts: 57
From: NH, USA
Joined: 04-07-2007


Message 6 of 29 (394960)
04-14-2007 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Brad McFall
04-14-2007 10:23 AM


Re: Regarding your PS
...................Thank you Brad.............................

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MartinV 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4380 days)
Posts: 502
From: Slovakia, Bratislava
Joined: 08-28-2006


Message 7 of 29 (394969)
04-14-2007 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by miosim
04-14-2007 10:00 AM


Re: IS THE WHOLE MORE THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS?
Your article is much more interesting as your introductory post. Its really very incentive.

"Internal forces" is something I agree fully with as the source of animal evolution. Despite of darwinistic mainstraim such opinion were held by prominent biologists like Punnett, Berg, Heikertinger and John Davison nowadays.

You extented consciousness beyond living systems. It is an old idea in new clothes but I have never imagine it can be applicable to chemistry and atoms nowadays. Very inspiring indeed.


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42
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 29 (397686)
04-27-2007 9:43 AM


I expect you've read far beyond introductory chaos theory but "deep simplicity" by John Gribbin is quite an inspiring read. Forgive me for not reading the whole post, but I just want to say, on the subject of whole being greater than sum of parts: Since any system made of more simple systems requires integration/coordination of those smaller systems, this integration in space time and function is of itself not a part: hence more than parts is required. I'm probably missing the point. All the best.

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MartinV 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4380 days)
Posts: 502
From: Slovakia, Bratislava
Joined: 08-28-2006


Message 9 of 29 (397750)
04-27-2007 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by 42
04-27-2007 9:43 AM



Since any system made of more simple systems requires integration/coordination of those smaller systems, this integration in space time and function is of itself not a part: hence more than parts is required.

The topic introduced by miosim is very interesting. I am surprised that so few answers it induced. Even Brad didn't address the problem.

What's more even Russian marxists during deep communism (let say 1960-1980) introduced often "structuralistic" conception into problem of evolution to explain it's complexity. They were darwinists in a peculiar dialectic way. They tried to apply marxistic mantra of "dialectic contradiction" in living organisms as another source of their evolution.

Edited by MartinV, : No reason given.

Edited by MartinV, : No reason given.

Edited by MartinV, : spelling of course


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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3584 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 10 of 29 (397790)
04-27-2007 5:57 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by MartinV
04-27-2007 3:58 PM


Euclid vs Cantor
quote:
“When chemical ingredients are mixed together the resultant compounds (Whole) has a property that cannot be found in the original ingredients”. However the underlying chemical reactions in these examples are completely reducible to basic chemistry and physics and nothing unexplained emerges in this case. So, why an explanation of chemical reactions need an Emergence semantic is a mystery to me.

Well in the 80s Stuart Kaufmann was invited to Cornell by Simon Levin before they collaborated on the use of numerical methods and the Wrightian Adaptive Lanscape (1987) and Simon had me help Stuart with the preparation of his transparencies.

I walked with Stu over to the Baker Hall where he spoke of his “auto catalytic” sets and I saw emerge a shock over the faces of the chemists of not having thought a simple set of chemicals may have properties NOT contained in the sum of the individual reactions separately. This experience pretty much dissuaded me from any belief in “emergence” of the kind that uses chemistry to buttress claims pretty much as Miosim thought.

The reason I did not write on the topic directly was because the notion of the whole being larger than the sum of its parts, in terms of downward causation from a higher level of organization, IS NOT NECESSARILY, the same thing as a conceptually linked percept with which those asserting emergence find sufficient for some philosophical purpose.

During the walk over with the transparencies that were about to be shown to the chemists at Cornell, I spoke rather hurriedly with Dr. Kaufmann about my own interests in finding applications of the notion of actual infinity to populations of creatures. Stuart knew what mathematical entity I spoke of, but had no idea how it might be applied. At this point I told him that Simon thought it was not something I should be thinking of, if I was him. But Stuart Kaufmann immediately said that if thinking of actual infinity actually helped me to think in terms of theoretical biology then I SHOULD continue to think about it. Simon had already decided that my use of incidence geometry to change Euclid’s axioms in morphology as to present a view of the whole is more than the sum of it’s parts was “too philosophical for him”. Earlier Von Weisacker, who spoke on the use of actual infinity in quantum mechanics was quite impressed with my facility expressing what was Cantors and not Aristotle’s notion. You see to think of actual infinity one has to have a potential infinite whole and then simply postulate the NEXT thing thereafter. This is a mathematical example of the whole is greater than the sum. But you see if one ONLY was thinking in terms of chemistry Miosim may have a point about there being no need for any such whole to be greater than *some* sum.

Well, at the time I had thought that Betrand Russell telescoping the problem of Cantor’s wholes to being one of paradoxs'' meant nonmyopically to be that symbolic logicians had some kinds of systems to denote what I was able to get across with Kaufmann and Von Weisacker but after Gladyshev contacted me I realize now I was niave. The problem is a simple one. I told Simon to see the complex as simple. That is all there is to it. Simon could not.

How to relate Euclid’s axioms possibly modified to respect this discursivity of an actual infinite I think has probably been sublimated by me into my panbiogeographic axioms
http://axiompanbiog.com/aboutus.aspx
so I did not feel that I could address the topic specifically as Miosism framed it.

You see I have no need for emergence but I still find organisms supervienent on the individual parts(whether reductionistic in Mioism and Kaufmann’s sense or my own logical atoms) and hence contrary to Dawkins’ view. The qualitative vs quantitative distinction narrated by Gladyshev speaks to how difficult it is to get a whole downward causal but not necessarily emergent (regardless of my personal ontology). Gladyshv did not use actual infinity however but simply Gibb’s plenuum. So I really was not sure whether my own ideas are hidden because they are my own or if they apply to whatever properties Miosim connoted. One of the issues is if “behavior” is part of his idea of emergence or not. Behavior is not such for a chemist necessarily but it may be for a biologist etc. And then there is Kant’s difference of the mathematically and the dynamically sublime….


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 Message 9 by MartinV, posted 04-27-2007 3:58 PM MartinV has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by MartinV, posted 04-27-2007 7:19 PM Brad McFall has responded
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MartinV 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4380 days)
Posts: 502
From: Slovakia, Bratislava
Joined: 08-28-2006


Message 11 of 29 (397803)
04-27-2007 7:19 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Brad McFall
04-27-2007 5:57 PM


Re: Euclid vs Cantor
Very interesting Brad. Need time to digest it. (Link too.)

quote:

The qualitative vs quantitative distinction narrated by Gladyshev speaks to how difficult it is to get a whole downward causal but not necessarily emergent (regardless of my personal ontology).

That reminds me of the pillar of the marxistic teaching of (somehow very mysterious) "change of quantity into quality". This was probably Hegel concept anyway. Reading book on evolution written by prominent Russain and Slovak marxists-structuralist (educated in math and physics very well - many of them were academics btw.) from around 1980 denying from materialisticc point of view even the 2nd law in living organisms surprised me very.

Maybe Miosim would response.


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Fosdick 
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Posts: 1793
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Message 12 of 29 (397805)
04-27-2007 7:33 PM


whole>parts
General question relevant to the OP: Is water more than oxygen and hydrogen?

—HM


Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by b_sharp, posted 05-01-2007 4:13 PM Fosdick has responded
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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3584 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 13 of 29 (397806)
04-27-2007 7:36 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by MartinV
04-27-2007 7:19 PM


Re: Euclid vs Cantor
I have no idea how much "dialectical materialism" influenced Dr. Gladsyhev if at all while I am aware a little about how Richard Lewontin intended it. Georgi Gladyshev tries to use "phenomenology" to bring Gibbs' Yale out of the doldrums and so it may be a philosophical difference of Husserl and logos rather than Hegel (thesis-antithesis) at play here, where one might Aufhebung (I dont know the German word that Hegel used and Derrida continued) but Miosim may not approve. We will have to see.

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b_sharp
Junior Member (Idle past 4727 days)
Posts: 3
From: Canada
Joined: 05-01-2007


Message 14 of 29 (398596)
05-01-2007 4:13 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Fosdick
04-27-2007 7:33 PM


Re: whole>parts
General question relevant to the OP: Is water more than oxygen and hydrogen?

I think a better question would be, are the properties of water (H2O) predictable from the properties of oxygen, hydrogen and their interactions?

In my opinion, the definition of emergence as a list of properties of the combination different from the properties of the individual components as overly broad. A more precise definition would be an 'unexpected' consequence of the combining of components given their properties. However, this means that what we consider to be emergent properties will change as we learn to more accurately predict changes in properties upon combination from initial properties.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Fosdick, posted 04-27-2007 7:33 PM Fosdick has responded

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Fosdick 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4051 days)
Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 15 of 29 (398602)
05-01-2007 4:42 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by b_sharp
05-01-2007 4:13 PM


Re: whole>parts
b_sharp wrote:

HM asked:

General question relevant to the OP: Is water more than oxygen and hydrogen?


I think a better question would be, are the properties of water (H2O) predictable from the properties of oxygen, hydrogen and their interactions?

In my opinion, the definition of emergence as a list of properties of the combination different from the properties of the individual components as overly broad. A more precise definition would be an 'unexpected' consequence of the combining of components given their properties. However, this means that what we consider to be emergent properties will change as we learn to more accurately predict changes in properties upon combination from initial properties.


I'll have to agree with you. Water is unpredictbable from its pre-combined elements.

—HM


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