Emergentism is a philosophical approach to the study of how a unit relates to its parts, for example, how an organism relates to its cells or how the mind relates to the brain. It is fundamentally relevant to all sciences, including chemistry, biology, psychology, and sociology, as well as language and communication sciences and social–technical research such as robotics. This entry offers a short description of the emergentist stance as opposed to the contrasting reductionist one as well as a very brief overview of the emergentist discussion of how the relation between a unit and its parts is emergent.

From a reductionist view, a physical organism, a robot, or an idea can be reduced to its properties and a theory can be reduced or replaced by ...

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