Complexity theories, social theory, and the question of social complexity

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (3):323-360 (2001)
Abstract
In this article, the author argues that complexity theories have limited use in the study of society, and that social processes are too complex and particular to be rigorously modeled in complexity terms. Theories of social complexity are shown to be inadequately developed, and typical weaknesses in the literature on social complexity are discussed. Two stronger analyses, of Luhmann and of Harvey and Reed, are also critically considered. New considerations regarding social complexity are advanced, on the lines that simplicity, complexity that can be modeled, and incondensible complexity permeate society simultaneously. The difficulty of establishing complexity models for processes involving ongoing interpretation is discussed. It is argued that the notions of system and environment need recasting in social studies. Existing social studies and literature, it is argued, reflect a polymorphous, contextual, contingent, labyrinthine, dramatic and political face to social complexity. Students of social complexity must be literate in such studies.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,399
External links
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
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

63 ( #24,380 of 1,102,951 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

13 ( #14,608 of 1,102,951 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.