JPVA Journal of Philosophy and the Visual Arts No 6 Complexity Architecture / Art / Philosophy 'Beginning with complexity will involve working with the recognition that there has always been more than one. Here however this insistent "more than one" will be positioned beyond the scope of semantics; rather than complexity occurring within the range of meaning and taking the form of a generalised polysemy, it will be linked to the nature of the object and to its (...) production. Complexity, therefore, will be inextricably connected to the ontology of the object. What this means is that complexity, in resisting the hold of a semantic idealism on the one hand, and the attempt to give to it the position of being the basis of a new foundationalism on the other, becomes a way of thinking both the presence and the production of objects.' Andrew Benjamin The Journal of Philosophy and the Visual Arts has set new standards in its exploration of themes central to philosophy's relation to the visual arts, illuminating areas of art criticism, architecture, feminism as well as philosophy itself. Rather than simply reflecting current trends it provides a forum in which the real developments in the analysis of the visual arts and its larger cultural and political context can be presented. Articles by well known philosophers and theorists, as well as some lesser known, together with writings by artists and architects allow a strong interdisciplinary approach reflecting the Journal's roots in post-structural theory. Previous issues include: Philosophy & the Visual Arts (No 1) Philosophy & Architecture (No 2) Architecture, Space, Painting (No 3) The Body (No 4) Abstraction (No 5). (shrink)
Complexity theory challenges educational philosophy to reconsider accepted paradigms of teaching, learning and educational research. However, though attractive, not least because of its critique of positivism, its affinity to Dewey and Habermas, and its arguments for openness, diversity, relationships, agency and creativity, the theory is not without its difficulties. These are seen to lie in terms of complexity theory's nature, status, methodology, utility and contribution to the philosophy of education, being a descriptive theory that is easily misunderstood as (...) a prescriptive theory, silent on key issues of values and ethics that educational philosophy should embrace, of questionable internal consistency, and of limited ‘added value’ in educational philosophy. The paper sets out key tenets of complexity theory and argues that, though it is useful for educational philosophy, it requires new conceptual tools and mind‐sets to comprehend fully its significance. (shrink)
This paper introduces Deleuze’s philosophy of becoming in a system theoretic framework and proposes an alternative ontological foundation to the study of systems and complex systems in particular. A brief critique of systems theory and the difficulties apparent in it is proposed as an introduction to the discussion. Following is an overview aimed at providing access to the ‘big picture’ of Deleuze’s revolutionary philosophical system with emphasis on a system theoretic approach and terminology. The major concepts of Deleuze’s ontology—difference, virtuality, (...) multiplicity, assemblages, quasi-causation, becoming, intensity and progressive determination are introduced and discussed. Deleuze’s work is a radical departure from the dogma of western philosophy that guides the foundations of science and systems theory. It replaces identity with difference and being with becoming; in other words, it provides systems theory with an ontological ground based on change, heterogeneity and the inexhaustible novelty-producing process that underlies all phenomena. The conceptual tools made available by this philosophy seem to capture the fundamental aspects of complexity and complex systems much better than the current conceptual system that is based on static transcendent ontological entities. (shrink)
The problem of complexity is considered within the framework of concepts developed in recent studies in the philosophy of chemistry. According to previously expressed ideas about diminishing interactions (Vančik, 1999), as well as on the basis of the concept of levels of complexity, we speculate here that the complexity should approach its final limit. On the other hand, dynamical complexity may grow ad infinitum, and relativistic effects can only limit it. Impacts of these considerations on a (...) possible change of actual paradigm of cosmology, especially on the anthropic principle, are also discussed. (shrink)
A collection of scholarly essays, __Complexity Theory and the Philosophy of Education__ provides an accessible theoretical introduction to the topic of complexity theory while considering its broader implications for educational change. Explains the contributions of complexity theory to philosophy of education, curriculum, and educational research Brings together new research by an international team of contributors Debates issues ranging from the culture of curriculum, to the implications of work of key philosophers such as Foucault and John Dewey for educational (...) change Demonstrates how social scientists and social and education policy makers are drawing on complexity theory to answer questions such as: why is it that education decision-makers are so resistant to change; how does change in education happen; and what does it take to make these changes sustainable? Considers changes in use of complexity theory; developed principally in the fields of physics, biology, chemistry, and economics, and now being applied more broadly to the social sciences and to the study of education. (shrink)
Technology is not only an object of philosophical reflection but also something that can change this reflection. This paper discusses the potential of computer-supported argument visualization tools for coping with the complexity of philosophical arguments. I will show, in particular, how the interactive and web-based argument mapping software “AGORA-net” can change the practice of philosophical reflection, communication, and collaboration. AGORA-net allows the graphical representation of complex argumentations in logical form and the synchronous and asynchronous collaboration on those “argument maps” (...) on the internet. Web-based argument mapping can overcome limits of space, time, and access, and it can empower users from all over the world to clarify their reasoning and to participate in deliberation and debate. Collaborative and web-based argument mapping tools such as AGORA-net can change the practice of arguing in two dimensions. First, arguing on web-based argument maps in both collaborative and adversarial form can lead to a fundamental shift in the way arguments are produced and debated. It can provide an alternative to the traditional four-step process of writing, publishing, debating, and responding in new writing with its clear distinction between individual and social activities by a process in which these four steps happen virtually simultaneously, and individual and social activities become more closely intertwined. Second, by replacing the linear form of arguments through graphical representations of networks of inferential relations which can grow over time in an infinite space, these tools do not only allow a clear visualization of structures and relations, but also forms of collaboration in which, for example, participants work on different “construction zones” of larger argument maps, or debates are performed at specific points of disagreement on those maps. I introduce the term synergetic logosymphysis to describe a practice that combines these two dimensions of collaborative- and web-based argument mapping. (shrink)
The science of complexity is based on a new way of thinking that stands in sharp contrast to the philosophy underlying Newtonian science, which is based on reductionism, determinism, and objective knowledge. This paper reviews the historical development of this new world view, focusing on its philosophical foundations. Determinism was challenged by quantum mechanics and chaos theory. Systems theory replaced reductionism by a scientifically based holism. Cybernetics and postmodern social science showed that knowledge is intrinsically subjective. These developments are (...) being integrated under the header of “complexity science”. Its central paradigm is the multi-agent system. Agents are intrinsically subjective and uncertain about their environment and future, but out of their local interactions, a global organization emerges. Although different philosophers, and in particular the postmodernists, have voiced similar ideas, the paradigm of complexity still needs to be fully assimilated by philosophy. This will throw a new light on old philosophical issues such as relativism, ethics and the role of the subject. (shrink)
Complexity and Postmodernism explores the notion of complexity in the light of contemporary perspectives from philosophy and science. The book integrates insights from complexity and computational theory with the philosophical position of thinkers including Derrida and Lyotard. Paul Cilliers takes a critical stance towards the use of the analytical method as a tool to cope with complexity, and he rejects Searle's superficial contribution to the debate.
Introduction -- Elucidating complexity theories -- Complexity in the natural sciences -- Complexity in social theory -- Towards transdisciplinarity -- Complexity in philosophy: complexification and the limits to knowledge -- Complexity in ethics -- Earth in the anthropocene -- Complexity and climate change -- American dreams, ecological nightmares and new visions -- Complexity and sustainability: wicked problems, gordian knots and synergistic solutions -- Conclusion.
"_The Moment of Complexity_ is a profoundly original work. In remarkable and insightful ways, Mark Taylor traces an entirely new way to view the evolution of our culture, detailing how information theory and the scientific concept of complexity can be used to understand recent developments in the arts and humanities. This book will ultimately be seen as a classic."-John L. Casti, Santa Fe Institute, author of _Gödel: A Life of Logic, the Mind, and Mathematics_ The science of complexity (...) accounts for that inscrutable mix of chaos and order that governs our natural world. Complexity explains how networks emerge and function, how species organize into ecosystems, how stars form into galaxies, and how just a few sequences of DNA can account for so many different life forms. Recently, the idea of complexity has taken the worlds of business and politics by storm. The concept is used to account for phenomena as varied as the behavior of the stock market, the response of voting populations, and the effects of risk management. Even Disney has used complexity theory to manage crowd control at its theme parks. Given the startling development of new information technologies, we now live in a moment of unprecedented complexity, an era in which change occurs faster than our ability to comprehend it. With _The Moment of Complexity_, Mark C. Taylor offers a timely map for this unfamiliar terrain opening in our midst, unfolding an original philosophy through a remarkable synthesis of science and culture. According to Taylor, complexity is not just a breakthrough scientific concept, but the defining quality of the post-Cold War era. The flux of digital currents swirling around us, he argues, has created a new network culture with its own distinctive logic and dynamic. Drawing on resources from information theory and evolutionary biology, Taylor explains the operation of complex adaptive systems in social and cultural processes and captures a whole new zeitgeist in the making. To appreciate the significance of our emerging network culture, he claims, we need not only to understand contemporary scientific and technological transformations, but also to explore the subtle influences of art, architecture, philosophy, religion, and higher education. _The Moment of Complexity_, then, is a remarkable work of cultural analysis on a scale rarely seen today. To follow its trajectory is to learn how we arrived at this critical moment in our culture, and to know where we might head in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of individual neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? What is it that guides self-organizing structures like the immune system, the World Wide Web, the global economy, and the human genome? These are just a few of the fascinating and elusive questions that the science of complexity seeks to answer. In this remarkably accessible and companionable book, leading complex (...) systems scientist Melanie Mitchell provides an intimate, detailed tour of the sciences of complexity, a broad set of efforts that seek to explain how large-scale complex, organized, and adaptive behavior can emerge from simple interactions among myriad individuals. Comprehending such systems requires a wholly new approach, one that goes beyond traditional scientific reductionism and that re-maps long-standing disciplinary boundaries. Based on her work at the Santa Fe Institute and drawing on its interdisciplinary strategies, Mitchell brings clarity to the workings of complexity across a broad range of biological, technological, and social phenomena, seeking out the general principles or laws that apply to all of them. She explores as well the relationship between complexity and evolution, artificial intelligence, computation, genetics, information processing, and many other fields. Richly illustrated and vividly written, Complexity : A Guided Tour offers a comprehensive and eminently comprehensible overview of the ideas underlying complex systems science, the current research at the forefront of this field, and the prospects for the field's contribution to solving some of the most important scientific questions of our time. (shrink)
After a contrast of the the prima facie complexity of the causality of the rational agent with the received scientific doctrine of causality, it is noticed that the prima facie causal authority of rational action belongs to a macroscopic domain in which all science and philosophy takes place and in which the formal/telic nature of that causality must be taken for granted. Any philosophical justification or philosophical criticism of the status of that macroscopic arena must therefore take place within (...) that same arena. It is then argued that a justification of the ontological status of that arena is possible by an exploitation of the reflexive resource of the rational awareness we exercise within that arena. It is claimed that this resource can be fairly described as the justification of our direct knowing of real beings/entities other than the knower and that such realistic knowing is at the same time an exemplary mode of causality having a complexity that is both formal/telic and hierarchical . In short, the rational agent is also a direct knower, and direct knowing requires a sense of "cause' more complex than the received scientific doctrine of causality provides. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
The book presents an interdisciplinary exploration aimed at renewing interest in Luigi Einaudi’s search for “good government”, broadly understood as “good society”. Prompted by the Einaudian quest, the essays - exploring philosophy of law, economics, politics and epistemology - develop the issue of good government in several forms, including the relationship between public and private, public governance, the question of freedom and the complexity of the human in contemporary societies.
This is a comprehensive discussion of complexity as it arises in physical, chemical, and biological systems, as well as in mathematical models of nature. Common features of these apparently unrelated fields are emphasised and incorporated into a uniform mathematical description, with the support of a large number of detailed examples and illustrations. The quantitative study of complexity is a rapidly developing subject with special impact in the fields of physics, mathematics, information science, and biology. Because of the variety (...) of the approaches, no comprehensive discussion has previously been attempted. This book will be of interest to graduate students and researchers in physics (nonlinear dynamics, fluid dynamics, solid-state, cellular automata, stochastic processes, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics), mathematics (dynamical systems, ergodic and probability theory), information and computer science (coding, information theory and algorithmic complexity), electrical engineering and theoretical biology. (shrink)
What exactly is complexity science? Two's company, three is complexity ; Disorder rules, OK? ; Chaos and all that jazz ; Mob mentality ; Getting connected -- What can complexity science do for me? Forecasting financial markets ; Tackling traffic networks and climbing the corporate ladder ; Looking for Mr./Mrs. Right ; Coping with conflict : next-generation wars and global terrorism -- Catching a cold, avoiding super-flu and curing cancer ; The mother of all complexities : our (...) nanoscale quantum world ; To infinity and beyond. (shrink)
The world is complex, but acknowledging its complexity requires an appreciation for the many roles context plays in shaping natural phenomena. In _Unsimple Truths, _Sandra Mitchell argues that the long-standing scientific and philosophical deference to reductive explanations founded on simple universal laws, linear causal models, and predict-and-act strategies fails to accommodate the kinds of knowledge that many contemporary sciences are providing about the world. She advocates, instead, for a new understanding that represents the rich, variegated, interdependent fabric of many (...) levels and kinds of explanation that are integrated with one another to ground effective prediction and action. Mitchell draws from diverse fields including psychiatry, social insect biology, and studies of climate change to defend “integrative pluralism”—a theory of scientific practices that makes sense of how many natural and social sciences represent the multi-level, multi-component, dynamic structures they study. She explains how we must, in light of the now-acknowledged complexity and contingency of biological and social systems, revise how we conceptualize the world, how we investigate the world, and how we act in the world. Ultimately _Unsimple Truths _argues that the very idea of what should count as legitimate science itself should change. (shrink)
The aim of this book is to show how supramolecular complexity of cell organization can dramatically alter the functions of individual macromolecules within a cell. The emergence of new functions which appear as a consequence of supramolecular complexity, is explained in terms of physical chemistry. The book is interdisciplinary, at the border between cell biochemistry, physics and physical chemistry. This interdisciplinarity does not result in the use of physical techniques but from the use of physical concepts to study (...) biological problems. In the domain of complexity studies, most works are purely theoretical or based on computer simulation. The present book is partly theoretical, partly experimental and theory is always based on experimental results. Moreover, the book encompasses in a unified manner the dynamic aspects of many different biological fields ranging from dynamics to pattern emergence in a young embryo. The volume puts emphasis on dynamic physical studies of biological events. It also develops, in a unified perspective, this new interdisciplinary approach of various important problems of cell biology and chemistry, ranging from enzyme dynamics to pattern formation during embryo development, thus paving the way to what may become a central issue of future biology. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Miracles and Nasty Surprises -- The Failure of Models & Labels; the Success of Experience & Emergence -- Two Kinds of Coherence - Ascribed and Emergent -- Models, Homologies & Simulacra -- The Ascribed Coherence of Thagard and Weick -- Coherence and Business Success -- Emergence, Coherence & Narrative -- Affordances and Organization -- Homology: Sense-Making revisited -- But Experience is Different -- Complexity tools: the Semiotic Square & Homology -- Steps to Implementation.
v. 1. Origins of order-creation science : complexity science from basic disciplines -- v. 2. Self-organization, emergence and self-organized criticality -- v. 3. Organization and management complexity dynamics -- v. 4. Agent-based socio-economic simulation -- v. 5. Power-law distributions in society and business.
Introduction to complexity and complex systems -- Introduction to large linear systems -- Introduction to biochemical oscillators and nonlinear biochemical systems -- Modularity, redundancy, degeneracy, pleiotropy and robustness in complex biological systems -- The evolution of biological complexity; invertebrate immune systems -- Irreducible and specified complexity in living systems -- The complex adaptive and innate human immune systems -- Complexity in quasispecies : microRNAs -- Introduction to complexity in economic systems -- Complexity in quasispecies (...) : micrornas -- Dealing with complexity. (shrink)
This book explains the relationship between intelligence and environmental complexity, and in so doing links philosophy of mind to more general issues about the relations between organisms and environments, and to the general pattern of 'externalist' explanations. The author provides a biological approach to the investigation of mind and cognition in nature. In particular he explores the idea that the function of cognition is to enable agents to deal with environmental complexity. The history of the idea in the (...) work of Dewey and Spencer is considered, as is the impact of recent evolutionary theory on our understanding of the place of mind in nature. (shrink)
Complexity science has proliferated across academic domains in recent years. A question arises as to whether any useful sense of ‘generalized complexity ’ can be abstracted from the various versions of complexity to be found in the literature, and whether it could prove fruitful in a scientific sense. Most attempts at defining complexity center around two kinds of notions: Structural, and temporal or dynamic. Neither of these is able to provide a foundation for the intuitive or (...) generalized notion when taken separately; structure is often a derivative notion, dependent on prior notions of complexity, and dynamic notions such as entropy are often indefinable. The philosophical notion of process may throw light on the tensions and contradictions within complexity. Robustness, for instance, a key quality of complexity, is quite naturally understood within a process-theoretical framework. Understanding complexity as process also helps one align complexity science with holistically oriented predecessors such as General System Theory, while allowing for the reductionist perspective of complexity. These results, however, have the further implication that it may be futile to search for general laws of complexity, or to hope that investigations of complex objects in one domain may throw light on complexity in unrelated domains. (shrink)