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Showing posts from April, 2006

New book chapter: Complexity and Philosophy

"Complexity and Philosophy"
Francis Heylighen, Paul Cilliers, and Carlos Gershenson
To be published in "Complexity, Science, and Society" (tentative title), edited by Robert Geyer and Jan Bogg, published by Radcliffe press.

Abstract:
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 th…