Complexity, Deconstruction and Relativism

Theory, Culture and Society 22 (5):255-267 (2005)

Abstract
The acknowledgement that something is complex, it is argued, implies that our knowledge of it will always be limited. We cannot make complete, absolute or final claims about complex systems. Post-structuralism, and specifically deconstruction, make similar claims about knowledge in general. Arguments against deconstruction can, therefore, also be held against a critical form of complexity thinking and a defence of the view from complexity should take account of them. Three of these arguments are investigated: that deconstruction and complexity-thinking lead to relativism, that they are subject to the performative contradiction and that their claims are vague. It is shown that these critiques are not really effective and it is suggested that a responsible approach to complexity has to be provisional, i.e. modest, without being vague or relativistic
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DOI 10.1177/0263276405058052
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References found in this work BETA

Vagueness: A Minimal Theory.Patrick Greenough - 2003 - Mind 112 (446):235-281.
Complexity and Post-Modernism: Understanding Complex Systems.P. Cilliers & David Spurrett - 1999 - South African Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):258-274.
Poststructuralism, Complexity and Poetics.M. Dillon - 2000 - Theory, Culture and Society 17 (5):1-26.

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Citations of this work BETA

Reconceptualising Whistleblowing in a Complex World.Julio A. Andrade - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 128 (2):321-335.
Towards an Economy of Complexity: Derrida, Morin and Bataille.O. Human & P. Cilliers - 2013 - Theory, Culture and Society 30 (5):24-44.
Ethics, Technology Development and Uncertainty: An Outline for Any Future Ethics of Technology.Paul Sollie - 2007 - Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 5 (4):293-306.

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