Foundations of Complex-system Theories: In Economics, Evolutionary Biology, and Statistical Physics

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 28, 1999 - Business & Economics - 404 pages
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Complex behavior can occur in any system made up of large numbers of interacting constituents, be they atoms in a solid, cells in a living organism, or consumers in a national economy. Analysis of this behavior often involves making important assumptions and approximations, the exact nature of which vary from subject to subject. Foundations of Complex-system Theories begins with a description of the general features of complexity and then examines a range of important concepts, such as theories of composite systems, collective phenomena, emergent properties, and stochastic processes. Each topic is discussed with reference to the fields of statistical physics, evolutionary biology, and economics, thereby highlighting recurrent themes in the study of complex systems. This detailed yet nontechnical book will appeal to anyone who wants to know more about complex systems and their behavior. It will also be of great interest to specialists studying complexity in the physical, biological, and social sciences.
 

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Contents

Theories of Composite Systems
39
5 Deductive Construction of Small Systems
46
6 Synthetic Microanalysis of Manybody Systems
54
7 Idealizations Approximations Models
67
8 Federal Versus Imperial Unity of Science
72
9 Equilibrium and Optimization
77
Individuals Constituents and Systems
84
11 The Integrity of the Topic of Statistical Mechanics
92
The Temporality of Dynamic Systems
213
27 Processes and Time
215
28 Past Present Future
223
Complexity in the Temporal Dimension
228
30 Stability Instability Bifurcation
237
31 Chaos and Predictability
242
32 Uniting Deterministic and Stochastic Concepts
248
33 The Foundation of Statistical Mechanics
255

12 The Unit of Evolution and the Unit of Selection
99
13 Economic Individuals as Ideal Optimizers
109
Situated Individuals and the Situation
115
15 Single Particles in the Selfconsistent Field
121
16 Price Takers in the Perfectly Competitive Market
132
17 Fitness Adaptedness and the Environment
140
Interacting Individuals and Collective Phenomena
151
19 Collective Excitations and Their Coupling
155
20 Strategic Competition and Industrial Organization
160
21 Population Structure and the Evolution of Altruism
167
Composite Individuals and Emergent Characters
173
23 Selforganization in Phase Transitions
183
24 Adaptive Organization of Biological Systems
193
25 Inflation Unemployment and Their Microexplanations
203
DYNAMICS
211
34 Causality but Not Determinism
259
Stochastic Processes and Their Explanations
269
36 Deterministic and Stochastic Models of Business Cycles
277
37 The Survival of the Fittest or the Luckiest?
285
38 Causality and Randomness in Statistical Mechanics
291
39 Probability but Not Tychism
299
Directionality History Expectation
313
41 Narratives and Theories in Natural History
323
42 Dynamic Optimization Expectation Uncertainty
334
Epilogue
341
Notes
347
Bibliography
379
Name Index
391
Subject Index
395
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