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Human Sociocomplexity: Sociocultural Sciences from a Complexic Perspective

The perspective of 'complexity’ uses the basic contributions of cognitive, systemic, ecological, chaological, and/or holistic approximations. In a name, the author I consider best suited to conceptualizing 'complexity' as applied to human affairs, is French anthropologist, sociologist and thinker, Edgar Morin. It is through this paradigm that we learn to recognise the limits of our representations of reality and to become aware of the revision of the categories through which we see the world and our existence.

Representations  lie and are produced in the brain/mind, but this does not mean that these representations areautomatically conscious and aware of where they are produced and how.

The representations that have dominated – and still dominate - Western thinking (which later spread to many other parts of the world) are based on the properties of material, physical elements using Aristotelian logic, which is founded on the principle of identity and exclusion of the third.

For example, if a place is taken by something, it cannot be occupied by anything else. This view, when automatically applied to the field of human relations (as is often the case), means, for example, that if a state or group already has a language, it cannot have another. Secondly, if individuals see themselves as belonging to an 'identity’, they cannot consider themselves to be members of any other. This is not necessarily the case in the sociocognitive, mental world. An individual can know several languages and distribute uses of the languages that they know, and form part of different categories of identity, within human societies. The logic of complexity, therefore, “escapes, in its most fundamental points, from the binary logic of ‘all or nothing’”.


This vision of things, with more ‘water-type’  or flexible instead of ‘rock-type’ or rigid categories, can therefore encourage a reformulation  of situations, resulting in new possibilities that need to be explored – along with the difficulties that this will no doubt entail – with imagination, creativity and rigour.


 Association pour la pensée complexe: http://www.mcxapc.org/ 
 Grup de complexitat, comunicació i sociolingüística, Universitat de Barcelona:  http://www.ub.edu/complexitat/
 Comunidad del pensamiento complejo: http://www.pensamientocomplejo.com.ar/
 Complejidad eco-socio-cognitiva (Albert Bastardas-Boada's complexity pages): http://albertbastardas.googlepages.com/,  http://complexityperspectives.googlepages.com/home 

(We are building this site. Albert Bastardas-Boada, University of Barcelona)