“The behavior of large and complex aggregates of elementary particles, it turns out, is not to be understood in terms of a simple extrapolation of the properties of a few particles. Instead, at each level of complexity entirely new properties appear, and the understanding of the new behaviors requires research which I think is as fundamental in its nature as any other.” (Anderson 1972: 393).Macroscopic bodies in our universe that are subject to the same physical laws nevertheless display complex emergent properties in which the whole becomes more than just the sum of its parts, such as, for example, in superconductive materials, antiferromagnets, ferroelectrics, liquid crystals, DNA (Anderson 1972: 395) and, of course, human consciousness.
The same fallacy of strong reductionism and the equally flawed methodological individualism infect modern neoclassical economics, which seeks to reduce macroeconomic phenomena to the behaviour of isolated individual agents.
But macroeconomics cannot be reduced to microeconomics, and macroeconomics is an autonomous or semi-autonomous disciple in its own right, as John King has recently argued.
Anderson, P. W. 1972. “More Is Different,” Science n.s. 177.4047: 393–396.