Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Restricted complexity, general complexity

Continuing from the last post, from Morin's paper, "Restricted complexity, general complexity":

"Restricted complexity....still remains within the epistemology of classical science.... Actually, one avoids the fundamental problem of complexity which is epistemological, cognitive, paradigmatic. To some extent, one recognizes complexity, but by decomplexifying it. In this way, the breach is opened, then one tries to clog it: the paradigm of classical science remains, only fissured.

"But then, what is 'generalized' complexity? It requires, I repeat, an epistemological rethinking, that is to say, bearing on the organization of knowledge itself.... In opposition to reduction, complexity requires that one tries to comprehend the relations between the whole and the parts. The knowledge of the parts is not enough, the knowledge of the whole as a whole is not enough, if one ignores its parts; one is thus brought to make a come and go in loop to gather the knowledge of the whole and its parts. Thus, the principle of reduction is substituted by a principle that conceives the relation of whole-part mutual implication.

“Concerning this, the old formula is known that the whole is more than the sum of its parts…. But there is also a substractivity which I want to highlight, noticing that the whole is not only more than the sum of its parts, but it is also less than the sum of it parts. Why? Because a certain number of qualities and properties present in the parts can be inhibited by the organization of the whole…. Thus, the notion of organization becomes capital, since it is through organization of the parts in a whole that emergent qualities appear and inhibited qualities disappear.

“If we think already that there are problems of irreducibility, of indeductibility, of complex relations between parts and whole, and if we think moreover that a system is a unit composed of different parts, one is obliged to unite the notion of unity and that of plurality or at least diversity. Then we realize that it is necessary to arrive at a logical complexity, because we should link concepts which normally repel each other logically, like unity and diversity. And even chance and necessity, disorder and order, need to be combined to conceive the genesis of physical organizations.

“I believe that the word chaos must be considered in its deep sense, its Greek sense. We know that in the Greek worldview, Chaos is at the origin of Cosmos. Chaos is not pure disorder, it carries within itself the indistinctness between the potentialities of order, of disorder, and of organization from which a cosmos will be born, which is an ordered universe…. Chaos and Cosmos are associated—I have employed the word Chaosmos—there is also a circular relation between both terms. It is necessary to take the word chaos in a much deeper and more intense sense than that of physical chaos theory.

“The hologrammic or hologrammatic principle should also be advanced, according to which not only a part is inside a whole, but also the whole is inside the part; just as the totality of the genetic inheritance is found in each cell of our organism, the society with its culture is inside the spirit of an individual…. It is here that the principle of the excluded middle reveals its limit. The excluded middle states ‘A cannot be A and not A’, whereas it can be one and the other. For example, Spinoza is Jewish and non-Jewish, he is neither Jewish, nor non-Jewish. It is here that the dialogic is not the response to these paradoxes, but the means of facing them, by considering the complementarity of antagonisms and the productive play, sometimes vital, of complementary antagonisms.

“It is certain that the idea of a pure objectivity is utopian. Scientific objectivity is produced by beings who are subjects, within given historical conditions, starting from the rules of the scientific game. The great contribution of Kant was to show that the object of knowledge is co-constructed by our spirit. He indicated us that it is necessary to know knowledge to know its possibilities and limits. The knowledge of knowledge is a requirement of the complex thinking.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.