From Simple to Complex and Ultra-complex Systems: A Paradigm Shift Towards Non-Abelian Systems Dynamics

Atoms, molecules, organisms distinguish layers of reality because of the causal links that govern their behavior, both horizontally (atom-atom, molecule-molecule, organism-organism) and vertically (atom-molecule-organism). This is the first intuition of the theory of levels. Even if the further development of the theory will require imposing a number of qualifications to this initial intuition, the idea of a series of entities organized on different levels of complexity will prove correct. Living systems as well as social systems and the human mind present features remarkably different from those characterizing non-living, simple physical and chemical systems. We propose that super-complexity requires at least four different categorical frameworks, provided by the theories of levels of reality, chronotopoids, (generalized) interactions, and anticipation.
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M. Kuhlmann (2011). Mechanisms in Dynamically Complex Systems. In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. OUP Oxford

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