Learning Change

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Philosophy of Complex Systems

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Every essay in this book is original, often highly original, and they will be of interest to practising scientists as much as they will be to philosophers of  science — not least because many of the essays are by leading scientists who are currently creating the emerging new complex systems paradigm. This is no accident. The impact of complex systems on science is a recent, ongoing and profound revolution. But with a few honourable exceptions, it has largely been ignored by scientists and philosophers alike as an object of reflective study.

The scale and sweep of the change is truly vast — entire disciplines or subdisciplines have come into being, departments and institutes of hundreds of scientists now exist that did not exist two decades ago, and Google entries under complex systems headings run into the tens of millions of pages — far too many for any individual to consult, even in a lifetime, thus creating an emergent reliance on systemic institutional structure and processes to generate scientific coherence, yet another facet of complex systems in science.

Part I  —   Part II   —   Part III-a   —  Part III-b   —   Part IV

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Written by learningchange

November 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm

3 Responses

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  1. [...] Every essay in this book is original, often highly original, and they will be of interest to practising scientists as much as they will be to philosophers of  science — not least because many of th…  [...]

  2. [...] Every essay in this book is original, often highly original, and they will be of interest to practising scientists as much as they will be to philosophers of  science.   This present essay and its matching closing essay ([Hooker-b, this volume]2 )are intended to be complementary and between them provide at least a first pre-sentation of an intellectual framework for understanding the foundational andphilosophical issues raised by the complex systems revolution. The present essayis designed to introduce and broadly review the domain of complex systems, withan eye to identifying the historical setting (section 2), the key systems propertiesat issue (section 3) and a collection of sub-domains that do not receive treatmentin a dedicated essay (section 4). The closing essay is an attempt to systemati-cally survey the specific components and issues that make up a scientific paradigm(section 5) and philosophy of science (section 6) that together comprise a foun-dational/philosophical analysis of the role of complex systems in science, as theycurrently appear.Readers at least somewhat familiar with complex systems should find the essaysto follow reasonably accessible, with references that invite further exploration.  [...]

  3. [...] The impact of complex systems on science is a recent, ongoing and profound revolution. But with a few honourable exceptions, it has largely been ignored by scientists and philosophers alike as an object of reflective study.  [...]


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