An introduction to complexism Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 Intellect Ltd Article. Interdisciplinary studies that would create deep connections between science and the arts and humanities face the daunting task of bridging two diametrically opposed worldviews. The clash of the modernist Enlightenment values of science with the postmodern sceptical values of the humanities came to a dramatic height with the Sokal Hoax and so called 'science wars' of the 1990s. There is now an uneasy ceasefire, but the fundamental contradictions persist between the two cultures. Complexism is an attempt to create a new synthesis suggested by the attitudes and worldview that arises from the scientific study of complex systems. An overview of key concepts from complexity science is offered. Complexism is then presented as a point-by-point analysis reconciling the diametrically opposed positions of modernity in the sciences and postmodernity in the humanities despite their apparently incommensurate paradigms. The special role of networks, and a corresponding process- oriented ontology, is proposed as an alternative to the flawed network theories current in the humanities. Finally two examples of how complexism can be applied are detailed. A complexist theory of authorship is offered, as is a new view of formalism in the arts.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Galanter, P.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Galanter, Philip

publication date

  • January 2016