Friday, November 28, 2008

Defining Complexity

by Maria Odete Madeira

Diversity and complexity are contextually (co)implicated , depending, the nature of each, from the nature of the context, in which they are rooted and upon which they systemically depend. This means that to refer the term complexity to a single definition would be not only impoverishing but also difficult in terms of a desirable explicative rigor.

To speak of complexity one must comprehend complexity, itself. To comprehend comes from the Latin cum+prehender that means to apprehend conjointly, thus, the term “comprehend” folds, it its own definition, the diversity that allows one to design it also as complex, in the sense in which it folds in the same act of comprehension, successive resendings between different individuals, or subjects, which implies an explicare and, thus, an unfolding of the subjectivity in intersubjectivity.

Any attempt to define complexity will have to consider, in the act itself of defining complexity, the complexity implicated in the act of comprehension, necessary to that definition.

Comprehending complexity systemically depends upon individuals, groups, species, cultures, societies and civilizations, in their differences, multiplicities and diversities.

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