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Emergence in complexity science

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Vashka dos Remedios.

The project aims to survey and comparatively analyse the use of the concept of emergence in complexity science. References to the emergent properties of complex systems abound in the field and are often used to argue for the importance of complexity science as a counterpoint to the prevalent reductionism in traditional scientific fields. However, both complexity as well as emergence are epistemologically contested concepts which are currently lacking a clear-cut definition. Accordingly, one finds that the application of emergence to complexity science has led to a number of different and not always compatible constructions.

My (preliminary) results indicate that complexity science contains even more diversity in its conceptual and epistemological basis than previously assumed. It has also become apparent that dialogues about or even articulation of these differences appear to be missing in the vast amount of emergence based literature on complexity.

This talk is part of the HPS Philosophy Workshop series.

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