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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 15, 2008


Faiza Muhammad
Pages 175-202

The Chaotic Paradigm of Complexity
A Metaphysical Approach

Contemporary research, across various disciplines, alludes to notion of complexity. Indeed, the phenomenon has even been accredited for comprising a new “world-view” that not only heralds theory construction but also instigates miscellaneous nifty yet practical avenues. On the other hand, however, the complexity paradigm has frequently been criticized of obscurity, contestation and scope imprecision. In addition, its various mutually incommensurable philosophical implications have lead to much heated debates regarding methodological pluralism and metaphorical applications, within literature. To elaborately discuss and resolve these concerns, this paper will be organized in three sections: The first section will build on the idiosyncratic characteristics of complexity that differentiate it from related notions of chaos and complicatedness. The second section will shed light on the philosophical deliberations of individual complexity attributes, toward metaphysics of complexity, through elaborately drawn diagrams. Also, this section will draw attention to several conflicting perspectives encompassing the theological, epistemological and ontological domain of complexity. The third section will trace the origins of such paradoxical debates, in the complexity literature, through a ‘Super-System-Outlook’ (SSO) framework. The framework is likely to be of particular significance as it aims to not only divulge an eradicable joint cause of the disparity governing complexity studies but also to propose a possible assimilation of such deliberations.

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