Thinking in Complexity: The Computational Dynamics of Matter, Mind, and Mankind

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Springer Science & Business Media, 2004 - Philosophy - 456 pages
1 Review
The theory of nonlinear, complex systems has become by now a proven problem-solving approach in the natural sciences. And it is now also recognized that many if not most of our social, ecological, economical and political problems are essentially of a global, complex and nonlinear nature. And it is now further accepted than any holistic perspective of the human mind and brain can hardly be achieved by any other approach. In this wide-ranging, scholarly but very concise treatment, physicist, computer scientist and philosopher Klaus Mainzer discusses, in essentially nontechnical language, the common framework behind these ideas and challenges. Emphasis is given to the evolution of new structures in natural and cultural systems and we are lead to see clearly how the new integrative approach can give insights not available from traditional reductionistic methods. The fifth edition enlarges and revises almost all sections and supplements an entirely new chapter on the complexity of economic systems.

From the reviews of the fourth edition:

"This book is ambitious, incredibly erudite with 22 pages of references, and is indisputably clearly and beautifully written and illustrated. It is perfectly suited to a first course on the science of complexity. Even beginners and young graduate students will have something to learn from this book." (Andre Hautot, Physicalia, Vol. 57 (3), 2005)

"All-in-all, this highly recommended book is a wonderful resource for intuitive basic ideas in the need of rigorous formulation." (Albert A. Mullin, Zentralblatt MATH, vol. 1046, 2004)

"Readers of this book will enjoy Mainzer's exposition, which is based on a tight coupling between classical andhistorical concepts from Plato and Aristotle to modern, mathematical and physical developments . Every chapter begins with a section designed to orient the reader to the perspective of philosophical developments through the ages pertinent to the topic at hand. The author takes pains to point out essential differences between classical science and the science of complexity. Thinking in Complexity is an outstandingly readable book." (Anutosh Moitra, The Industrial Physicist, August/September, 2004)

  

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Contents

From Linear to Nonlinear Thinking
1
2 Complex Systems and the Evolution of Matter
17
21 Aristotles Cosmos and the Logos of Heraclitus
18
22 Newtons and Einsteins Universe and the Demon of Laplace
31
23 Hamiltonian Systems and the Chaos of Heaven and the Quantum World
47
24 Conservative and Dissipative Systems and the Emergence of Order
59
25 Complex Systems of the Nano World and SelfConstructing Materials
77
26 Complex Data Mining and Time Series Analysis
85
54 Cellular Automata Chaos and Randomness
229
6 Complex Systems and the Evolution of Artificial Life and Intelligence
241
62 Cellular Neural Networks and Analogic Neural Computers
261
63 Universal Cellular Neural Networks and Dynamic Complexity
274
64 Neurobionics and Robotics
287
65 From Artificial Intelligence to Artificial Life
302
7 Complex Systems and the Evolution of Human Society
313
71 From Aristotles Polis to Hobbes Leviathan
314

3 Complex Systems and the Evolution of Life
93
32 Boltzmanns Thermodynamics and the Evolution of Life
99
33 Complex Systems and the Evolution of Organisms
105
34 Complex Systems and the Ecology of Populations
121
4 Complex Systems and the Evolution of MindBrain
129
41 From Platos Soul to Lamettries LHomme machine
130
42 Complex Systems and Neural Networks
139
43 Brain and the Emergence of Consciousness
165
44 Intentionality and the Crocodile in the Brain
176
5 Complex Systems and the Evolution of Computability
187
51 Leibniz and Mathesis Universalis
188
52 Computability and Algorithmic Complexity
191
53 From Information to Knowledge Processing
204
72 Smiths Economics and Market Equilibrium
320
73 Complex Economic Systems Chaos and Randomness
330
74 Complex Social and Cultural Systems
349
75 Complex Communication Networks and Information Retrieval
368
76 Complex Mobile Networks and Ubiquitous Computing
378
8 Epilogue on Future Science and Ethics
387
82 Complexity Science and Technology
396
83 Complexity Responsibility and Freedom
402
References
413
Subject Index
435
Name Index
453
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Mainzer is a Professor of Philosophy and Science Theory at the University of Augsburg, Germany.

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