David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Oxford University Press (2009)
What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of individual neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? What is it that guides self-organizing structures like the immune system, the World Wide Web, the global economy, and the human genome? These are just a few of the fascinating and elusive questions that the science of complexity seeks to answer. In this remarkably accessible and companionable book, leading complex systems scientist Melanie Mitchell provides an intimate, detailed tour of the sciences of complexity, a broad set of efforts that seek to explain how large-scale complex, organized, and adaptive behavior can emerge from simple interactions among myriad individuals. Comprehending such systems requires a wholly new approach, one that goes beyond traditional scientific reductionism and that re-maps long-standing disciplinary boundaries. Based on her work at the Santa Fe Institute and drawing on its interdisciplinary strategies, Mitchell brings clarity to the workings of complexity across a broad range of biological, technological, and social phenomena, seeking out the general principles or laws that apply to all of them. She explores as well the relationship between complexity and evolution, artificial intelligence, computation, genetics, information processing, and many other fields. Richly illustrated and vividly written, Complexity: A Guided Tour offers a comprehensive and eminently comprehensible overview of the ideas underlying complex systems science, the current research at the forefront of this field, and the prospects for the field's contribution to solving some of the most important scientific questions of our time.
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Citations of this work BETA
Michael A. Riley, Kevin Shockley & Guy van Orden (2012). Learning From the Body About the Mind. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (1):21-34.
Ronnie Hawkins (forthcoming). Facing Up to Complexity: Implications for Our Social Experiments. Science and Engineering Ethics:1-40.
Chris Gyngell (2012). Enhancing the Species: Genetic Engineering Technologies and Human Persistence. Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):495-512.
Andrea Jones-Rooy & Scott E. Page (2012). The Complexity of System Effects. Critical Review 24 (3):313-342.
Carlos E. Maldonado & Nelson A. Gómez Cruz (2012). The Complexification of Engineering. Complexity 17 (4):8-15.
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