Front cover image for Notes on complexity : a scientific theory of connection, consciousness, and being

Notes on complexity : a scientific theory of connection, consciousness, and being

Neil Theise (Author)
"An electrifying introduction to complexity theory, the science of how complex systems behave--from cells to human beings, ecosystems, the known universe, and beyond--that profoundly reframes our understanding and illuminates our interconnectedness. Nothing in the universe is more complex than life. Throughout the skies, in oceans, and across lands, life is endlessly on the move. In its myriad forms--from cells to human beings, social structures, and ecosystems--life is open-ended, evolving, unpredictable, yet adaptive and self-sustaining. Complexity theory addresses the mysteries that animate science, philosophy, and metaphysics: how this teeming array of existence, from the infinitesimal to the infinite, is in fact a seamless living whole and what our place, as conscious beings, is within it. Physician, scientist, and philosopher Neil Theise makes accessible this "theory of being," one of the pillars of modern science, and its holistic view of human existence. He notes the surprising underlying connections within a universe that is itself one vast complex system--between ant colonies and the growth of forests, cancer and economic bubbles, murmurations of starlings and crowds walking down the street. The implications of complexity theory are profound, providing insight into everything from the permeable boundaries of our bodies to the nature of consciousness. Notes on Complexity is an invitation to trade our limited, individualistic view for the expansive perspective of a universe that is dynamic, cohesive, and alive--a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Theise takes us to the exhilarating frontiers of human knowledge and in the process restores wonder and meaning to our experience of the everyday"--Publisher's website
Print Book, English, 2023
First edition View all formats and editions
Spiegel & Grau, New York, 2023
xv, 205 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
9781954118256, 1954118252
Author's Note
Part I : Complexity
Chapter 1. A Science of Being
Chapter 2. Order, Chaos, and the Origin of Complexity
Chapter 3. Rules of Complexity and the Adjacent Possible
Part II : Complementarity and Holarchy Or the "Boundless Body"
Chapter 4. The Cellular Level : Our Bodies, Our Cells
Chapter 5. The Molecular Level : Beyond the Cell Doctrine
Chapter 6. The Atomic Level : Gaia
Chapter 7. The Subatomic Level: Quantum Strangeness
Chapter 8. All the Way Down: Space-Time and the Quantum Foam
Part III : Consciousness
Chapter 9. The "Hard Problem of Consciousness"
Chapter 10. The Vienna Circle and Scientific Empiricism
Chapter 11. Kurt Godel and the Limits of Formal Logic
Chapter 12. The Return of Metaphysics : Fundamental Awareness