Criticisms and Future Directions
The final chapter of An Introduction to Complex Systems aims to address two topics not addressed in other chapters. First, there are some unignorable criticisms of the general approach of complex systems theory and the field itself. Criticisms addressed include the lack of clear definitions, the incoherency of the field as a whole, the fact that complex systems thinking is not new, the lack of diversity in the field, and that it might not be a scientific discipline. Second, the awareness of the problems of the field is balanced by considering some promising directions and applications. These include the design of a new wave of complex adaptive machines, using complex systems as a framework to dissect and address major global problems, and the possibility that complex systems theory could become a key component of educational curricula. The chapter ends with a challenge to the reader to look for ways to integrate the field.