Emergence

So in thinking more and more about Integral theory it becomes clear how it rests so steadfastly on the concept of Emergence.

I shall loosely explain (extremely loosely) Wilber here (as I am too lazy to find his actual quotes)…

Hydrogen and two Oxygen atoms although having completely different properties emerge (when fused together) as water. There is nothing in either the hydrogen atom or Oxygen atoms that suggest the properties water presents us with. The result of interaction of holons is a synthesis, that is whole and transcendent, while at the same time negating the individualness of each part while preserving their essence.

This is a fundamental insight and yet it leaves me wondering where it all goes. If we are to leave the juiciest part of the theory to the concept of transcendence (i.e. emergent phenomenon) then what is the point of all the explanation?

How does this Emergence occur and how is it that after intense thought (through a dialectic process) that we emerge with insight?

No doubt, if you are a thinking person, it has happened to you. Those moments of thought when everything changes but how do you explain the magic of ‘getting it’?

The easiest way out of this predicament is to use metaphysical language that essentially says, “you won’t get it until you’ve transcended” or to straightly admit that such thing are ‘unexplainable by their very nature’. i.e. It is beyond ration (and irreducible), not that we don’t have enough ration.

I’m loosing myself in the argument here. Consider a definition given by Vince Darley:

I seek to define rigorously the concept of an emergent
phenomenon in a complex system, together with its im-
plications for explanation, understanding and prediction
in such systems. I argue that in a certain fundamental
sense, emergent systems are those in which even perfect
knowledge and understanding may give us no predictive
information. In them the optimal means of prediction is
simulation.

The operative thought here is that we have ‘no predictive information’. If that is so then rational thought has lost. If that is so and simulation is all we got, then all we can do is experiment with reality to decide on outcomes.

What is more interesting to me is to look at this the other way round. Consider:

If the world is inherently emergent in phenomenon (i.e. random, uncertain), then how does the special case of rational reducibility emerge?!

Quantum mechanically the answer lies in the fact that reducible logic occurs out of the probabilistic behaviour, the law of large numbers. But this leaves me strangely dissatisfied.

The uncertainty principle rears it’s ugly head… is there anyway out?!

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