I have mentioned many times on the issue of emergent phenomena, why the so-called Theory of Everything may be nothing more than a TOE for reductionism, and the arguments put forth by Robert Laughlin regarding this. I have also highlighted his book on such emergent phenomena.
An excerpt of this book is one of the essay on PhysicsCentral. So if you haven't read it yet, this might give you a "flavor" on what he is tackling. I wish they had done a longer excerpt, because the issue of collective behavior and emergent phenomena are only covered in the final paragraph. I believe is PNAS paper and his Nobel Prize speech have a lot more "teeth" in his argument.
In any case, you should really read the whole book if you haven't come across such argument before.