Eros and Logos

Complexity Digest

Stuart Kauffman
Angelaki. Journal of the Theoretical Humanities
Volume 25, 2020 – Issue 3: special issue: ontogenesis beyond complexity. Pages 9-23


For the ancient Greeks, the world was both Eros, the god of chaos and creativity, and Logos, the regularity of the heavens as law. From chaos the world came forth. The world was home to ultimate creativity. Two thousand years later Kepler, Galileo, and then mighty Newton created deterministic classical physics in which all that happens in the universe is determined by the laws of motion, initial and boundary conditions. The Theistic God who worked miracles became the Deistic God who set up the universe and let Newton’s laws take over. Eros, raw creativity, is dead, all is Logos.

Quantum mechanics replaced the determinism of classical physics with fundamental indeterminism. This was a major crisis in physics, but remained entirely within the Newtonian paradigm of laws, here the…

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