Complexity and Context-Dependency
- Bruce Edmonds
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It is argued that given the “anti-anthropomorphic” principle—that the universe is not structured for our benefit—modelling trade-offs will necessarily mean that many of our models will be context-specific. It is argued that context-specificity is not the same as relativism. The “context heuristic”—that of dividing processing into rich, fuzzy context-recognition and crisp, conscious reasoning and learning—is outlined. The consequences of accepting the impact of this human heuristic in the light of the necessity of accepting context-specificity in our modelling of complex systems is examined. In particular the development of “islands” or related model clusters rather than over-arching laws and theories. It is suggested that by accepting and dealing with context (rather than ignoring it) we can push the boundaries of science a little further.
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- Complexity and Context-Dependency
Foundations of Science
Volume 18, Issue 4 , pp 745-755
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- Bruce Edmonds (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK