Category Archives: Complexity theory

Educational Philosophy and the Challenge of Complexity Theory

Complexity theory challenges educational philosophy to reconsider accepted paradigms of teaching, learning and educational research. However, though attractive, not least because of its critique of positivism, its affinity to Dewey and Habermas, and its arguments for openness, diversity, relationships, agency and creativity, the … Continue reading

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Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences: An Introduction

Chaos and complexity are the new buzz words in both science and contemporary society. The ideas they represent have enormous implications for the way we understand and engage with the world. Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences introduces students to … Continue reading

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Perspectives on Organizational Change – Systems and Complexity Theories

It is becoming increasingly important for organizations to gain competitive advantage by being able to manage and survive change. This paper presents two theoretical paradigms (systems and complexity theories) through which organizational change processes can be fruitfully examined. Systems and … Continue reading

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Autopoiesis and Spirituality

The term “autopoiesis” was introduced by Maturana and Varela around 1972 by combining the Greek words auto (self-) and poiesis (creation, production) to refer to the mechanism by which living systems continually produce themselves as autonomous unities. “When we speak … Continue reading

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Complexity and Semiosis of Human Life

From experience everybody knows that life dynamics are complex. Life phenomena, events and processes emerge out of interaction of many interwoven factors. Complex is the physical organization of human body, extremely complex is the emotional life of people, their thoughts, … Continue reading

Posted in Chaos Theory, Chaotic dynamics, Complex processes, Complex thinking, Complexity, Complexity theory, Human life, Semiosis | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Complex Adaptive Systems in the Behavioral and Social Sciences

This article examines applications of complexity theory within the behavioral and social sciences. Specific attention is given to the fundamental characteristics of complex adaptive systems (CAS) — such as individuals, groups, and societies — including the underlying structure of CAS, … Continue reading

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The Growth of Structural and Functional Complexity during Evolution

Although the growth of complexity during evolution seems obvious to most observers, it has recently been questioned whether such increase objectively exists. The present paper tries to clarify the issue by analysing the concept of complexity as a combination of … Continue reading

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Self-Organization, Emergence and Multi-Agent Systems

We begin by describing the importance of emergence and the need, in certain situations, to move away from a reduction mind-set to a more holist approach. We define the term emergence in context of self-organizing systems, autopoiesis and chaotic systems. … Continue reading

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Self-Organization, Emergence, and Constraint in Complex Natural Systems

Contemporary complexity theory has been instrumental in providing novel rigorous definitions for some classic philosophical concepts, including emergence. In an attempt to provide an account of emergence that is consistent with complexity and dynamical systems theory, several authors have turned … Continue reading

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The Architecture of Complexity – from Network Structure to Human Dynamics

The purpose of this article is to illustrate, through the example of human dynamics, that a thorough understanding of complex systems requires an understanding of network dynamics as well as network topology and architecture. After an overview of the topology … Continue reading

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