Home/Working Papers/Can A Whole Be Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts? A Critical Appraisal Of “Emergence”
Can A Whole Be Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts? A Critical Appraisal Of “Emergence”
Código: WPE – 066
Michael J. Zyphur
Daniel J. Beal
We address the concept of emergence, examining its historical roots and use in the field. We examine the ontological underpinnings of one way emergence is discussed, which we call objective-emergence and define as the existence of a higher- level entity which cannot be reduced to its parts. We note that objective-emergence is not scientifically feasible and may inhibit theoretical and empirical work. We describe research contexts and language that may accidentally foster the use of objective-emergence.