Worldviews, Science and Us


Abstract
It is argued that the truth status of emergent properties of complex adaptive systems models should be based on an epistemology of proof by constructive verification and therefore on the ontological axioms of a non-realist logical system such as constructivism or intuitionism. ‘Emergent’ properties of complex adaptive systems (CAS) models create particular epistemological and ontological challenges. These challenges bear directly on current debates in the philosophy of mathematics and in theoretical computer science. CAS research, with its emphasis on computer simulation, is heavily reliant on models which explore the entailments of Formal Axiomatic Systems (FAS). The incompleteness results of G¨odel, the incomputability results of Turing, and the Algorithmic Information Theory results of Chaitin, undermine a realist (platonic) truth model of emergent properties. These same findings support the hegemony of epistemology over ontology and point to alternative truth models such as intuitionism, constructivism and quasi-empiricism.
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