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Complexity and post-modernism: understanding complex systems

Complexity and post-modernism: understanding complex systems 258 S. Afr. J. Philos. 1999, 18(2) Review article Cilliers, P. London: Routledge pp. 176 Again, regarding the brain, they will not be able to imagine anything more plausible than that it is composed of many tiny fibres variously inter­ laced. ... Descartes, Treatise on Man (1985, vol. I: I 07). (I) Paul Cilliers' Complexity and postmodernism ( 1998) develops a philosophical frame­ work for understanding complex systems, and argues that, properly deployed, this under­ standing shows the way out of a number of old philosophical disputes and confusions about meaning, representation and reductionism by showing that certain traditional philo­ sophical expectations relating to those problems are misguided. The traditional philosoph­ ical expectations in question, which are connected to some programmes in the philosophy of science and in scientific research, are paradigmatically modern conceptions of the nature of language, rationality and thought. These include the notion that meaningful signs are tokens of some sort which 'have' a meaning of the form of a positive content, the related view that thought is essentially representational, and the idea that rationality is essentially algorithmic or computational. Parallel to this line of enquiry, and partly independently, Cilliers argues that at least some 'postmodern' http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png South African Journal of Philosophy Taylor & Francis

Complexity and post-modernism: understanding complex systems

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References (15)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 1999 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
2073-4867
eISSN
0258-0136
DOI
10.1080/02580136.1999.10878187
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

258 S. Afr. J. Philos. 1999, 18(2) Review article Cilliers, P. London: Routledge pp. 176 Again, regarding the brain, they will not be able to imagine anything more plausible than that it is composed of many tiny fibres variously inter­ laced. ... Descartes, Treatise on Man (1985, vol. I: I 07). (I) Paul Cilliers' Complexity and postmodernism ( 1998) develops a philosophical frame­ work for understanding complex systems, and argues that, properly deployed, this under­ standing shows the way out of a number of old philosophical disputes and confusions about meaning, representation and reductionism by showing that certain traditional philo­ sophical expectations relating to those problems are misguided. The traditional philosoph­ ical expectations in question, which are connected to some programmes in the philosophy of science and in scientific research, are paradigmatically modern conceptions of the nature of language, rationality and thought. These include the notion that meaningful signs are tokens of some sort which 'have' a meaning of the form of a positive content, the related view that thought is essentially representational, and the idea that rationality is essentially algorithmic or computational. Parallel to this line of enquiry, and partly independently, Cilliers argues that at least some 'postmodern'

Journal

South African Journal of PhilosophyTaylor & Francis

Published: May 1, 1999

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