David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (3):323-360 (2001)
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)|
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
Lesley Kuhn (2007). Why Utilize Complexity Principles in Social Inquiry? World Futures 63 (3 & 4):156 – 175.
John A. Smith (2006). Qualitative Complexity: Ecology, Cognitive Processes and the Re-Emergence of Structures in Post-Humanist Social Theory. Routledge.
Flavia Monceri (2005). Complexity and Novelty: Reading Mark C. Taylor. World Futures 61 (5):397 – 408.
Michael Lamport Commons & Alexander Pekker (2008). Presenting the Formal Theory of Hierarchical Complexity. World Futures 64 (5 - 7):375 – 382.
Hokky Situngkir, What Can We Do with the Research Institute for Social Complexity Sciences in Indonesia?
Lesley Kuhn, Robert Woog & Marcia Salner (2011). Utilizing Complexity for Epistemological Development. World Futures 67 (4-5):253 - 265.
Ralph H. Abraham (2011). The Genesis of Complexity. World Futures 67 (4-5):380 - 394.
Sylvia Walby (2007). Complexity Theory, Systems Theory, and Multiple Intersecting Social Inequalities. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (4):449-470.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads63 ( #28,025 of 1,413,277 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #154,925 of 1,413,277 )
How can I increase my downloads?