Emergent or just unexpected?

Fortune, Joyce and White, Diana (2002). Emergent or just unexpected? In: Ragsdell, G; West, D and Wilby, J eds. Systems theory and practice in the Knowledge Age: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference of the UK Systems Society, held July 7th to 10th, 2002, at York University, UK. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum, pp. 3–10.

URL: http://www.springer.com/east/home?SGWID=5-102-22-3...


This paper questions the value of labelling unpredictable and ‘unenvisionable’ behaviour as emergent. Using a phenomenon widely reported in the risk literature it suggests that some behaviours and properties which could easily be cited as evidence of emergence may owe nothing to the concept of hierarchy and have explanations which lie wholly outside the field of systems.

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