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Diagrammatic Emergence

SERIES: Diagrammatic Emergence
AUTHOR: Jim Schofield


This paper considers the possibilities of devising appropriate diagrams to both illustrate, and indeed reveal, the kind of processes involved in an Emergence.

What actually happens in these remarkable transformations does not conform to the usual formal methods of analysis, and this is becuase of significant and tumultuous changes, which radically alter the probabilities of certain kinds of things actually happening.

From "random" situations, where millions of different things seemed equally unlikely (indeed well nigh impossible), in a radical transformation of the content and context, the situation is so transformed that a much smaller set become much more probable, or even inevitable.

How do you illustrate that? Certain forms have been invented and those used by George Gaylord Simpson are without doubt magnificent attempts, but his objectives were more limited, so it is still by no means an already conquered area.

This paper defines the problems rather than delivering the answers, but suggests an approach already used effectively by this author in the area of the Processes and Productions of Abstraction, along with others on Feedback processes and Simpson's marvellous efforts.


1.The problem is posed - Can we produce diagrams, which reveal the revolutionary transformations that undoubtedly occur in the Events termed Emergences?

2. The problem is made vastly more difficult because we must attempt to ride-the-tiger. Instead of merely illustrating stability, which is the usual method, we have to expose radical transformations. How might we do that?

3. The counter-intuitive way, in which impossibility at one situation can become probable or even inevitable in another, is considered, but not delivered. Though the use of the Origin of Life on Earth as a template for such investigations is established as the best possible route.

4. The example of research into reaction fronts in liquids is used to show how different to our usual approach must be our task here.

5. The misinterpretation (by his own disciples) of Hegel's approaches to the Logic of Change is related to demonstrate what is involved here, and a second front is opened up to aid in the task - that of Social Revolutionary situations, and the incredible tasks of revolutionaries attempting to act effectively in such major turnovers.

6. Finally George Gaylord Simpson's diagrams, which he devised and used in his work on the Evolution of Horses and in his book The Meaning of Evolution are described as a significant contribution.

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