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Complex Systems: Chaos and Beyond is co-authored by scientist Kunihiko



Kaneko and mathematician Ichiro Tsuda. It is a book about “the study of complex systems, based on, but beyond, chaos ” (p. v). The authors develop notions about types and features of chaos and applications to biological systems are highlighted. Because “complex systems are such that we must postulate concepts beyond chaos, ” (p. vii) the authors develop novel concepts to study complex systems by making a transition from focusing on physical systems towards a focus on biological systems. Key concepts developed in the book include coupled chaos, chaotic itinerancy, descriptive instability, hidden coherence, and hierarchical clustering. Drawing from hermeneutics, the authors also develop a methodological stance: an observation process for studying complex systems. Their methodology couples theory with experiment and involves constructing basic systems, which they identify as a constructive approach. The author’s posit that both complexity science and the complexity-informed research stance they develop in the book are central for understanding human, body, and environmental systems. In the table of contents, section titles point to specific organic, evolutionary, and geographic notions. I focus my extended review on whether this book delivers what it promises. Specifically, I look at the novel methodology used, distinctions made, and applications offered. I also pay particular attention to the notion of coupling chaotic systems as a common characteristic among complex phenomena

Year: 2009
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