Quantifying Weak Emergence

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

The concept of weak emergence is a refinement or specification of the intuitive, general notion of emergence. Basically, a fact about a system is said to be weakly emergent if its holding both (i) is derivable from the fundamental laws of the system together with some set of basic (non-emergent) facts about it, and yet (ii) is only derivable in a particular manner, called “simulation.” This essay analyzes the application of this notion Conway's Game of Life, and concludes that a modification of the notion would provide a better refinement of the general notion of emergence. It is proposed that emergence be taken as a matter of degree, defined in terms of the amount of simulation required to derive a fact.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles