During the last two decades the idea of emergence has seen a strong revival in many different fields and disciplines such as philosophy of mind, physics, biology, the social sciences, artificial life, connectionism, dynamical systems theory, theories of self-organisation, and theories of creativity. However, in these fields the notion of emergence is far from being used in a uniform way. While in ordinary language ‘emergence’ means something like the ‘coming into view or existence’, ‘rising above a surrounding medium’, or ‘occurring unexpectedly’, its technical use is associated with features such as ‘being novel, unpredictable, or irreducible’, ‘showing interesting non-programmed patterns’, or ‘having novel causal powers’.
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