I will present results from a novel analysis of complexity definitions. I will argue that the vast majority of complexity definitions can be interpreted as requiring different combinations of different technical embodiments of five core criteria for complexity: the three dynamical criteria of the existence of many components, determinism and indeterminism; and the two phenomenological criteria of regularity and irregularity. Furthermore, I will show that while different complexity definitions require different and even exclusive combinations of these criteria – all complexity definitions require contrasting dynamical and phenomenological criteria, i.e. determinism in combination with irregularity or indeterminism in combination with irregularity. Therefore, a contrast between dynamics and phenomenology appears to constitute the conceptual heart of complexity science. I will then propose that the existence of such dynamics-phenomenology contrasts should be used as a minimal definition of the concept of complexity. Furthermore, I will show that such contrasts constitute a kind of epistemological emergence.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Studies In History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies In History and Philosophy of Modern Physics|
|Early online date||1 Feb 2018|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2018|