Complexity theory is one of the most controversial areas of current scientific research. Developing out of chaos theory, complexity suggests that there are hidden tendencies in nature to select ordered states, even when statistically they are vastly outnumbered by chaotic possibilities: that there is a deep natural impulse towards order, counteracting the degenerative tendencies of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Like chaos, complexity is a multidisciplinary area of research and those involved include physicists, economists and biologists. This is a study of complexity.
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"Kauffman has done more than anyone else to supply the key missing piece of the propensity for self-organization that can join the random and the deterministic forces of evolution into a satisfactory theory of life's order."--Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard University"Stuart Kauffman lucidly argues that, in addition to Darwinian selection, another force, the emergence of self-organized order from apparent chaos determines the beautiful systems that make up the world and cosmos. He contends that emergent order is a feature of many complex systems and general laws that may be defined from their study. It is an exciting and well-written volume."--Barry Blumberg, Fox Chase Cancer Research Center and Nobel Laureate"Every once in a while, you read a book so powerful and with such a radical view that you realize your world is changed forever....Kauffman is a pioneer of the new science of complexity, which sees in the world of nature an inner force of its own, not mystical but scientific. This insight touches something deep in each of us, as we yearn to understand the order we see in nature. Kauffman shares his discovery with us, with lucidity, wit, and cogent argument, and we see his vision. Many will embrace it, as I did, and will gaze on the world anew."--Roger Lewin"Stuart Kauffman gives us a rich and compelling picture of the new principle of self-organization in understanding the emergence of order in complex systems, whether life or society or the economy. The analysis is dramatic without sacrificing scientific accuracy and a careful differentiation between what is known and what is surmised. The hints he has given on the development of the economy and especially of technology will undoubtedly be the basis of a major intellectual development."--Kenneth J. Arrow, Nobel Laureate and Professor Emeritus, Stanford University"Stu Kauffman is an immensely inventive and erudite explorer of the world of ideas and concepts. As with many explorers, not everyone will wish to accompany him but the description of the trip is fascinating."--Phil Anderson, Nobel Laureate in Physics, Princeton UniversityAbout the Author:
Stuart Kauffman is a member of the Santa Fe Institute. A MacArthur fellowship recipient, he is the leading thinker on self-organization and the science of complexity as applied to biology.
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