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Flock Theory: A New Model of Emergent Self-Organization in Human Interaction
Unformatted Document Text:  Flock Theory 6 conditions of basic elements and to explain systems of complexity it is essential to rely on more macro levels. Emergence is crucial for social sciences in that it allows for a means to explain higher- level relations, avoiding the problem of analytic reduction to lower-level units. Yet, while emergent phenomena provide the ability to analyze at a more macro level, “we must never lose sight of the dependence of these higher-level properties on lower-level units. The marks of an emergent property include its novelty, its association with a new set of relations, the stability and boundedness of these relations, and the emergence of new laws or principles applicable to this entity” (Hodgsen, 2000, p. 75). As Goldstein (1999) points out, where traditional physics has had the ability to study complete order or utter randomness, emergence offers the ability to understand the middle ground. As a result, the absence of adequate frameworks for emergent order acts as a hurdle to emergents being accepted as ontologically viable. Shortcomings of Emergence Theories to Date Central to the discussion of emergence is the inability to use reductionism as a focus of description. However, Hodgson (2000) points out that reduction must be distinguished from reductionism, it is in this sense that the logical-causal-temporal pattern can be revealed. Likewise, what is being challenged is the idea of complete analytic reduction, not reduction as a concept. As a result the inherent macro view of emergence has led to a general lack of understanding of the micro phenomena that the agents in emergent systems display. As a result of this macro focus, the majority of the emergence research has been dedicated to the substantive domain by focusing is on the phenomena, states, actions, and entities of systems. The actors are mainly viewed as behaving in context yet the properties that let these actors emerge is not well understood. Most of the attempts at developing methods to study

Authors: Rosen, Devan.
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Flock Theory 6
conditions of basic elements and to explain systems of complexity it is essential to rely on more
macro levels.
Emergence is crucial for social sciences in that it allows for a means to explain higher-
level relations, avoiding the problem of analytic reduction to lower-level units. Yet, while
emergent phenomena provide the ability to analyze at a more macro level, “we must never lose
sight of the dependence of these higher-level properties on lower-level units. The marks of an
emergent property include its novelty, its association with a new set of relations, the stability and
boundedness of these relations, and the emergence of new laws or principles applicable to this
entity” (Hodgsen, 2000, p. 75). As Goldstein (1999) points out, where traditional physics has
had the ability to study complete order or utter randomness, emergence offers the ability to
understand the middle ground. As a result, the absence of adequate frameworks for emergent
order acts as a hurdle to emergents being accepted as ontologically viable.
Shortcomings of Emergence Theories to Date
Central to the discussion of emergence is the inability to use reductionism as a focus of
description. However, Hodgson (2000) points out that reduction must be distinguished from
reductionism, it is in this sense that the logical-causal-temporal pattern can be revealed.
Likewise, what is being challenged is the idea of complete analytic reduction, not reduction as a
concept. As a result the inherent macro view of emergence has led to a general lack of
understanding of the micro phenomena that the agents in emergent systems display.
As a result of this macro focus, the majority of the emergence research has been
dedicated to the substantive domain by focusing is on the phenomena, states, actions, and entities
of systems. The actors are mainly viewed as behaving in context yet the properties that let these
actors emerge is not well understood. Most of the attempts at developing methods to study


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