Item description for Thinking in Complexity: The Computational Dynamics of Matter, Mind, and Mankind by Klaus Mainzer...
The theory of nonlinear, complex systems has become by now a proven problem-solving approach in the natural sciences. And it is now also recognized that many if not most of our social, ecological, economical and political problems are essentially of a global, complex and nonlinear nature. And it is now further accepted than any holistic perspective of the human mind and brain can hardly be achieved by any other approach. In this wide-ranging, scholarly but very concise treatment, physicist, computer scientist and philosopher Klaus Mainzer discusses, in essentially nontechnical language, the common framework behind these ideas and challenges. Emphasis is given to the evolution of new structures in natural and cultural systems and we are lead to see clearly how the new integrative approach can give insights not available from traditional reductionistic methods. The fifth edition enlarges and revises almost all sections and supplements an entirely new chapter on the complexity of economic systems.
From the reviews of the fourth edition:
"This book is ambitious, incredibly erudite with 22 pages of references, and is indisputably clearly and beautifully written and illustrated. It is perfectly suited to a first course on the science of complexity. Even beginners and young graduate students will have something to learn from this book." (Andre Hautot, Physicalia, Vol. 57 (3), 2005)
"All-in-all, this highly recommended book is a wonderful resource for intuitive basic ideas in the need of rigorous formulation." (Albert A. Mullin, Zentralblatt MATH, vol. 1046, 2004)
"Readers of this book will enjoy Mainzer's exposition, which is based on a tight coupling between classical and historical concepts from Plato and Aristotle to modern, mathematical and physical developments . Every chapter begins with a section designed to orient the reader to the perspective of philosophical developments through the ages pertinent to the topic at hand. The author takes pains to point out essential differences between classical science and the science of complexity.Thinking in Complexity is an outstandingly readable book." (Anutosh Moitra, The Industrial Physicist, August/September, 2004)
Outline Chaos is cropping up everywhere these days. As it becomes ever more apparent that Newtonian mechanics is inadequate for modeling nonlinear systems, or systems that have too many degrees of freedom to handle easily, researchers in all fields are turning toward nonlinear dynamics as a refreshing alternative. This is a paradigm shift la Kuhn, and Klaus Mainzer guides us through it with an astounding range of historical and scientific knowledge. From quantum physics to consciousness to economics, Mainzer shows us how thinking complexly can solve problems over which standard, linear thinking continually stumbles. Instead of simplifying, however, Mainzer revels in the complexity of complexity, so the reader should be prepared for advanced concepts in such varied fields as mathematics, physics, and economics. Difficult, but worthwhile reading.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.3" Width: 6.2" Height: 0.9" Weight: 1.95 lbs.
Release Date Nov 5, 2003
ISBN 3540002391 ISBN13 9783540002390
Availability 0 units.
More About Klaus Mainzer
Mainzer is a Professor of Philosophy and Science Theory at the University of Augsburg, Germany.
Reviews - What do customers think about Thinking in Complexity: The Computational Dynamics of Matter, Mind, and Mankind?
very difficult subject; but intriguing ideas Jan 19, 2006
[A review of the 4th Edition, 2003.] This book studies complexity and nonlinearity across a diverse range of applications. Much of the book revolves around organic evolution and the evolution of a sentient mind. And how complexity analysis might aid in the understanding of these fields. Not the least in devising deeper forms of artificial intelligence.
So intriguing techniques like cellular automata and neural networks are studied. There is a fair amount of speculation as to how these and other topics might ultimately relate to sentience or consciousness. But the musings are grounded in solid science. Like that of a Hopfield system or a Boltzmann machine. This 4th edition is a good reflection of the boundaries of our knowledge.
understandable highest level science with cultural backg Jun 16, 1999
The book covers a broad field - all parts in close connection with the others and its background in modern science and historic cultural connotations. The theoretical aspects are merged with lively explanations. Readable for the non-specialist, understandable for the average science-educated and meaningful for the specilaists, both in physical systems science and in philosophy. A top-notch guide through this topic of multidisciplinary novelties.
Full but turgid catalogue of complexity phenomena Feb 25, 1998
This book is an extremely well-informed cataloguing of the many areas of human experience in which self-organisation and complexity phenomena play an important role. However the writer's style becomes very heavy as a result of transferring German constructions into English - so much so that I was forced to skim read many sections.