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Observing Complexity

Systems Theory and Postmodernity

Observing Complexity by William Rasch
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Shakes up postmodern criticism with paradigms from the social and techno-sciences.The rubric of systems theory brings together conceptual models and approaches in the sciences and social sciences that study complexity. It attempts to provide a coherent means of describing all systems, whether organic or inorganic, and offers a theory of knowledge that can account for the integration of humans in the social, informational, and ecological systems in which we are enmeshed. Observing Complexity brings the major concepts and foremost thinkers of systems theory into interaction with the major figures of postmodern theory. The format is multiplex and open—a rich montage, including interviews, exemplary essays, and staged dialogues. The writers’ aim is not to solidify theory but to provide a thorough explication and an open-ended exploration of how systems theory can address, in a fresh and productive way, theoretical questions that too often have led to impasses between different schools of postmodern theory. Contributors: Drucilla Cornell, Jonathan Elmer, N. Katherine Hayles, Peter Uwe Hohendahl, Eva Knodt, Marjorie Levinson, Niklas Luhmann, and Brian Massumi.
University of Minnesota Press; February 2000
317 pages; ISBN 9780816652914
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Title: Observing Complexity
Author: William Rasch; Cary Wolfe