Untangling Complexity Theory – The Kihbernetics Institute

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Untangling Complexity Theory – The Kihbernetics Institute

COMPLEXITY

Untangling Complexity Theory

An excellent introductory article for anyone interested in Complexity Theory (CT) is An Introduction to Complexity Theory by Jun Park. Among other things, it provides an insight about its origins which are, I think, as diverse and complex as the theory itself (highlights are mine):

Complexity Theory and its related concepts emerged in the mid-late 20th century across multiple disciplines, including the work of Prigogine and his study on dissipative structures in non-equilibrium thermodynamics, Lorenz in his study of weather systems and non-linear causal pathways (i.e. the butterfly effect), Chaos theory and its new branch of mathematics, as well as evolutionary thinking informed by Lamarck’s perspectives on learning and adaptation (Schneider and Somers, 2006).

Prigogine’s dissipative structures can for sure explain some of the complexity of life, while Chaos theory as a branch of mathematics, can shed some light on underlying patterns of deterministic laws in recurrent (autopoietic) processes in dynamical systems undergoing apparently random states of disorder.

Not sure, though, about the usefulness of the other two “non-linear causal pathways (i.e. the butterfly effect)” and “evolutionary thinking informed by Lamarck’s perspectives on learning and adaptation“. Let’s explore those two a little bit closer:

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Untangling Complexity Theory – The Kihbernetics Institute