The complexity of science
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Koers 64 (4):499-520 (1999)
In this article I present an alternative philosophy of science based on ideas drawn from the study of complex adaptive systems. As a result of the spectacular expansion in scientific disciplines, the number of scientists and scientific institutions in the twentieth century, I believe science can be characterised as a complex system. I want to interpret the processes of science through which scientists themselves determine what counts as good science. This characterisation of science as a complex system can give an answer to the question why the sciences are so successful in solving growing numbers of problems and correcting their own mistakes. I utilise components of complexity theory to explain and interpret science as a complex system. I first explain the concept of complexity in ordinary language. The explanation of science as a complex system starts with a definition of the basic rules that guide the behaviour of science as a complex system. Next, I show how various sciences result through the implementation of these rules in the study of a specific aspect of reality. The explanation of the growth of science through evolutionary adaptation and learning forms the core of the article.
|Keywords||Science Complexity Evolutionary adaptation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
James Ladyman, James Lambert & Karoline Wiesner (2013). What is a Complex System? European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (1):33-67.
Claus Emmeche (1997). Aspects of Complexity in Life and Science. Philosophica 59.
Shaun Nichols & Todd A. Grantham (2000). Adaptive Complexity and Phenomenal Consciousness. Philosophy Of Science 67 (4):648-670.
Franck Varenne (2009). Models and Simulations in the Historical Emergence of the Science of Complexity. In Ma Aziz-Alaoui & C. Bertelle (eds.), From System Complexity to Emergent Properties. Springer. 3--21.
Sylvia Walby (2007). Complexity Theory, Systems Theory, and Multiple Intersecting Social Inequalities. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (4):449-470.
Guy van Orden & Damian G. Stephen (2012). Is Cognitive Science Usefully Cast as Complexity Science? Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (1):3-6.
Melanie Mitchell (2009). Complexity: A Guided Tour. Oxford University Press.
Michael J. Behe (2000). Self-Organization and Irreducibly Complex Systems: A Reply to Shanks and Joplin. Philosophy of Science 67 (1):155-162.
A. Berthoz (2012). Simplexity: Simplifying Principles for a Complex World. Yale University Press.
Börje Ekstig (2010). Complexity and Evolution: A Study of the Growth of Complexity in Organic and Cultural Evolution. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 15 (3):263-278.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2011-04-05
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?