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)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Differences in Additive Complexity Between Biological Evolution and the Progress of Human Knowledge.Eliezer Geisler & Bruce Ritter - 2003 - Emergence: Complexity and Organization 5 (2):42-55.
Similar books and articles
Why Utilize Complexity Principles in Social Inquiry?Lesley Kuhn - 2007 - World Futures 63 (3 & 4):156 – 175.
Complexity and Postmodernism: Understanding Complex Systems.Paul Cilliers - 1998 - Routledge.
Qualitative Complexity: Ecology, Cognitive Processes and the Re-Emergence of Structures in Post-Humanist Social Theory.John A. Smith - 2006 - Routledge.
Complexity and Novelty: Reading Mark C. Taylor.Flavia Monceri - 2005 - World Futures 61 (5):397 – 408.
Presenting the Formal Theory of Hierarchical Complexity.Michael Lamport Commons & Alexander Pekker - 2008 - World Futures 64 (5 - 7):375 – 382.
What Can We Do with the Research Institute for Social Complexity Sciences in Indonesia?Hokky Situngkir - manuscript
Utilizing Complexity for Epistemological Development.Lesley Kuhn, Robert Woog & Marcia Salner - 2011 - World Futures 67 (4-5):253 - 265.
Complexity Theory, Systems Theory, and Multiple Intersecting Social Inequalities.Sylvia Walby - 2007 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (4):449-470.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads75 ( #68,997 of 2,158,357 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #355,511 of 2,158,357 )
How can I increase my downloads?