Map of Complexity Science

Brian Castellani is a professor of sociology and an expert in the field of complexity studies. His map is a macroscopic, transdisciplinary introduction to the complexity sciences spanning 1940-2015. Moving from left to right, it is read in a roughly historical fashion, evolving along the field’s five major intellectual traditions: dynamical systems theory purple, systems science light blue, complex systems theory yellow, cybernetics grey, and artificial intelligence and cognitive science orange. Placed along these traditions are the key scholarly themes and methods used across the complexity sciences. A theme’s color identifies the historical tradition with which it is best associated, even if a theme is placed on a different trajectory. Themes in brown denote discipline-specific topics, which illustrate how the complexity sciences are applied to different content. Double-lined themes denote the intersection of a tradition with a new field of study, as in the case of visual complexity or agent-based modeling. Connected to themes are the scholars who founded or pioneered work in that area. Since 2009, the map has been extensively revised, based on successive, in-depth reviews of the scholarly literature, citation analyses, expert critique, summaries of various areas, and feedback from readers.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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