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Agents come into, and go out of, existence. For centuries philosophers
grappled with a problem: how to distinguish simple ("quantitative") changes
from the cases where something really "new" emerges. What does it mean
to be "new", to emerge? In our theory this intuitive notion is formalized
as the coming of a new agent into existence. An action can lead to
an emergence of new agents.
Take, once again, radioactive decay. A neutron
suddenly chooses to break down into a proton, electron and neutrino.
We saw one agent: the neutron. Now it disappeared, but we see three new
agents which will meet their fate independently. This is an emergence.
In the case of complex actions, such as the birth of a baby, we can
argue about the exact time of the event, because we have more than one
reference system in which to describe actions. As a member of society,
the baby emerges at birth. As an object of embryology it emerges
at the moment of egg fertilization.