Complexity and novelty: Reading mark C. Taylor

World Futures 61 (5):397 – 408 (2005)
Abstract
In this article the author maintains that complexity theory relies on reductionist assumptions, showing itself not to be completely convincing in dealing with the issue of novelty. First, an outline of Mark C. Taylor's The Moment of Complexity is presented as an exemplary case, particularly for his attempt to import complexity theory into the social sciences. Then, the connection between complexity theory and evolutionism is considered, arguing that this connection prevents complexity theory from giving a convincing account of the emergence of novelty. A provisional conclusion is offered by arguing that novelty should be conceived as arising from a "widening" of reduction at the individual level.
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