Throughout human history, we have come to accept the idea that order is created through design and maintained through control. Sources of such design have been assigned to gods and governments in their various forms. And yet, the evidence points clearly in the opposite direction.
John Miller and Scott Page show how to combine ideas from economics, political science, biology, physics, and computer science to illuminate topics in organization, adaptation, decentralization, and robustness.
In generally accessible terms, Frontiers of Complexity describes much of the history, development and importance of many complexity ideas we now take for granted. These include: cellular automata, chaos and fractals, genetic and evolutionary algorithms and neural networks. Fundamentally, the book is mostly focused on new ways of doing science using the power of computing.
General Systems Theory: Problems, Perspectives, Practice by Swedish academic Lars Skyttner provides a good introduction to GST. It’s first part provides a history of the subject, particularly centered on the key contributions of people such as Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Kenneth Boulding, Jay Forrester and many others. It acknowledges the contributions of folks like Aristotle, Hegal, Smuts and other forerunners. The second part of the book describes the application of General Systems Theory in fields such as organization, decision making and informatics.
Most of our philosophy was developed well in advance of the modern understanding of complexity, indeed much before science itself. This book explores the relationships and inter-dependencies between complexity, science and philosophy.