Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement

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University of Chicago Press, Sep 15, 2005 - Science - 289 pages
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Ambitiously identifying fresh issues in the study of complex systems, Peter J. Taylor, in a model of interdisciplinary exploration, makes these concerns accessible to scholars in the fields of ecology, environmental science, and science studies. Unruly Complexity explores concepts used to deal with complexity in three realms: ecology and socio-environmental change; the collective constitution of knowledge; and the interpretations of science as they influence subsequent research.

For each realm Taylor shows that unruly complexity-situations that lack definite boundaries, where what goes on "outside" continually restructures what is "inside," and where diverse processes come together to produce change-should not be suppressed by partitioning complexity into well-bounded systems that can be studied or managed from an outside vantage point. Using case studies from Australia, North America, and Africa, he encourages readers to be troubled by conventional boundaries-especially between science and the interpretation of science-and to reflect more self-consciously on the conceptual and practical choices researchers make.
  

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The title and author are one thing; inside, it appears to be another book - the history of Concordia Seminary in Springfield, Illinois. Something's not right here!

Contents

MODELING ECOLOGICAL COMPLEXITY l
3
Open Sites in Model Building
33
INTERPRETING ECOLOGICAL MODELERS IN THEIR COMPLEX
47
Reconstructing Heterogeneous Webs in SocioEnvironmental
123
ENGAGING REFLEXIVELY WITHIN ECOLOGICAL SCIENTIFIC
135
Reasoned Understandings and Social Change in Research
167
Three Stories
203
Summary of Themes and Questions Opened Up
215
Glossary
223
Notes
229
References
255
Index
283
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Page 259 - Chaos, order, and Sense-Making: A proposed theory for information design In R. Jacobson (Ed.), Information design (pp. 35-57). Cambridge.

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About the author (2005)

Peter J. Taylor is associate professor and director of the Programs in Science, Technology & Values and Critical & Creative Thinking at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where he teaches environmental studies, science studies, and reflective practice.


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