- Aristotle, Metaphysics, Book H 1045a 8-10: "... the totality is not, as it were, a mere heap, but the whole is something besides the parts ...", i.e., the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
- "The chemical combination of two substances produces, as is well known, a third substance with properties different from those of either of the two substances separately, or of both of them taken together" （Mill 1843）
- 与朱利安·赫胥黎: "now and again there is a sudden rapid passage to a totally new and more comprehensive type of order or organization, with quite new emergent properties, and involving quite new methods of further evolution" （Huxley & Huxley 1947）
- （Blitz 1992） "Every resultant is either a sum or a difference of the co-operant forces; their sum, when their directions are the same -- their difference, when their directions are contrary. Further, every resultant is clearly traceable in its components, because these are homogeneous and commensurable. It is otherwise with emergents, when, instead of adding measurable motion to measurable motion, or things of one kind to other individuals of their kind, there is a co-operation of things of unlike kinds. The emergent is unlike its components insofar as these are incommensurable, and it cannot be reduced to their sum or their difference." （Lewes 1875，p.412）
- 原文 "the arising of novel and coherent structures, patterns and properties during the process of self-organization in complex systems".
- Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain [我们真的有自由意志吗？——意识、抉择与背后的大脑科学]. 猫头鹰出版. ISBN 978-9862621295 （中文（繁体））.
- Mill, John Stuart, On the Composition of Causes, A System of Logic Ratiocinative and Inductive, London: John W. Parker and Son: 371, 1872 
- Huxley, Julian S.; Huxley, Thomas Henry, Evolution and Ethics: 1893-1943, London: The Pilot Press: 120, 1947
- Corning, Peter A., The Re-Emergence of "Emergence": A Venerable Concept in Search of a Theory (PDF), Complexity, 2002, 7 (6): 18–30, doi:10.1002/cplx.10043, （原始内容 (PDF)存档于2007-11-28）