The components constituting a system do not possess the property “safety”, because safety arises as a result of the interactions between the components. Investigating components outside the context of the system will not determine this kind of property. This challenges the more traditional unilateral reductionist (i.e., investigating a phenomenon by examining the comprising parts) approach to thinking about safety, which, to a large extent, uses component reliability as a proxy for safety. As safety is an emergent property, we need to understand the nature of emergence and complexity to be capable of analysing system properties such as safety.
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