Publication date (electronic): 30 June 2006
Complexity in a complex Europe:
Reflections on the cultural genesis of a new science
European Modernity is characterized by a fragmentation of knowledge and the raise of metaphysical methodology embedded in emerging rationalistic Science. Such developments represent some of the facets of the cultural evolution of Europe. In many cases, the triumph of rationalistic and mechanistic thought cannot be dissociated from some of the most tragic events in world history which took place in Europe during the ‘short twentieth century’. Complexity, on the other hand, also has its roots in the European intellectual heritage, and as such it should be considered as one of the paths to knowledge opened by the European philosophical tradition—arguably, a path that was lost following the ‘victory’ of rationalist approaches in the European ‘Epistemic Civil War’. As Complexity Science continues to challenge established epistemology and Europe renews its search for a new identity, this article seeks to explore the relationship between ‘Scientific Culture’ and ‘European Identity’ in the light of the relatively recent (re-) emergence of Complexity.
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