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Complexity Theory

Complexity theory is a relatively new intellectual endeavor that has its roots in the development and growth of systems theory. It is not a single body of knowledge in the sense that, for example, economics is. Rather, the theory has developed as an interdisciplinary study of systemic behavior. It includes fields such as economics, meteorology, biology, chemistry, and geology, as well as Kenneth Boulding’s idea of “multisexual” disciplines, such as biochemistry and behavioral economics. The hierarchical classification of different types of systems proposed by Boulding in 1956 implied that systems from different disciplines can share characteristics and thus be seen as “similar,” even though the language and units of measure are quite different. The emerging recognition that there were interesting resemblances, overlaps, and behaviors among ...

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