On Paul Cilliers’ approach to complexity: Post-structuralism versus model exclusivity

INDECS: Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems 19 (4):457-469 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Paul Cilliers has developed a novel post-structural approach to complexity that has influenced several writers contributing to the current complexity literature. Concomitantly however, Cilliers advocates for modelling complex systems using connectionist neural networks (rather than analytic, rule-based models). In this paper, I argue that it is dilemmic to simultaneously hold these two positions. Cilliers’ post-structural interpretation of complexity states that models of complex systems are always contextual and provisional; there is no exclusive model of complex systems. This sentiment however appears at odds with Cilliers’ promotion of connectionist neural networks as the best way to model complex systems. The lesson is that those who currently follow Cilliers’ post-structural approach to complexity cannot also develop a preferred model of complex systems, and those who currently advocate for some preferred model of complex systems cannot adopt the post-structural approach to complexity without giving up the purported objectivity and/or superiority of their preferred model.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Complexity, Deconstruction and Relativism.Paul Cilliers - 2005 - Theory, Culture and Society 22 (5):255-267.
Complexity and post-modernism: understanding complex systems.P. Cilliers & David Spurrett - 1999 - South African Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):258-274.
Complexity, ethics and justice.Paul Cilliers - 2016 - In PaulHG Cilliers (ed.), Critical Complexity: Collected Essays. De Gruyter. pp. 181-190.
Complexity, poststructuralism and organization.Paul Cilliers - 2011 - In Peter Allen, Steve Maguire & Bill McKelvey (eds.), The Sage Handbook of Complexity and Management. Sage Publications. pp. 142--154.
Difference, identity and complexity.Paul Cilliers - 2016 - In PaulHG Cilliers (ed.), Critical Complexity: Collected Essays. De Gruyter. pp. 193-210.
Complexity, deconstruction and relativism.Paul Cilliers - 2016 - In PaulHG Cilliers (ed.), Critical Complexity: Collected Essays. De Gruyter. pp. 139-152.
Knowledge, complexity and understanding.Paul Cilliers - 2016 - In PaulHG Cilliers (ed.), Critical Complexity: Collected Essays. De Gruyter. pp. 77-84.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-12-08

Downloads
247 (#77,106)

6 months
86 (#45,093)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ragnar Van Der Merwe
University of Johannesburg

References found in this work

Of grammatology.Jacques Derrida - 1976 - Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Edited by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.
Of Grammatology.Jacques Derrida - 1982 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 15 (1):66-70.
Mythologies.Roland Barthes & Annette Lavers - 1973 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 31 (4):563-564.

View all 23 references / Add more references