Thinking in Complexity

The Computational Dynamics of Matter, Mind, and Mankind

Authors: Mainzer, Klaus

  • A broad and unique canvas on complexity and complexity science at an advanced but non-technical level
  • Fifth edition of classic work, with almost all sections enlarged and revised
  • New chapter on the complexity of economic systems
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eBook $54.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-540-72228-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $69.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-540-72227-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $69.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-642-44656-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

The theory of nonlinear, complex systems has become by now a proven problem-solving approach in the natural sciences. It is also recognized that many, if not most, of our social, ecological, economical and political problems are essentially of a global, complex and nonlinear nature. And it is now further accepted than any holistic perspective of the human mind and brain can hardly be achieved by any other approach. In this wide-ranging, scholarly but very concise treatment, Klaus Mainzer (physicist, computer scientist and philosopher) discusses, in essentially nontechnical language, the common framework behind these ideas and challenges. Emphasis is given to the evolution of new structures in natural and cultural systems, and we are lead to see clearly how the new integrative approach can give insights not available from traditional reductionistic methods. The fifth edition enlarges and revises almost all sections and include an entirely new chapter on the complexity of economic systems.

From the reviews of the fourth edition:

"… this highly recommended book is a wonderful resource for intuitive basic ideas in the need of rigorous formulation." (Albert A. Mullin, Zentralblatt MATH)

"This book is ambitious, incredibly erudite with 22 pages of references, and is indisputably clearly and beautifully written and illustrated. It is perfectly suited to a first course on the science of complexity. Even beginners and young graduate students will have something to learn from this book." (André Hautot, Physicalia)

"Readers of this book will enjoy Mainzer’s exposition, which is based on a tight coupling between classical and historical concepts from Plato and Aristotle to modern, mathematical and physical developments … . takes pains to point out essential differences between classical science and the science of complexity. … Thinking in Complexity is an outstandingly readable book." (Anutosh Moitra, The Industrial Physicist)

Reviews

From the reviews of the fourth edition:

THE INDUSTRIAL PHYSICIST:

"The science of complexity is likely to be among the most salient features of the 21st century, and Thinking in Complexity: Computational Dynamics of Matter, Mind, and Mankind is just as likely to be among the most popular introductions to the topic. Author Klaus Mainzer treats highly technical materials related to descriptions of complexity pervading science, engineering, and societal dynamics–and even ethics–with a lucidity that is sure to captivate physicists as well as the general public with a moderate scientific background. … Readers of this book will enjoy Mainzer’s exposition, which is based on a tight coupling between classical and historical concepts from Plato and Aristotle to modern, mathematical and physical developments, including relativity, chaos, and quantum physics. Every chapter begins with a section designed to orient the reader to the perspective of philosophical developments through the ages pertinent to the topic at hand. Readers patient enough to read through the lines will be rewarded with occasional gems such as Mainzer’s speculation on a possible correlation between a society’s development of atomistic ideas and its possession of a phonetic alphabet. The author takes pains to point out essential differences between classical science and the science of complexity. … Thinking in Complexity is an outstandingly readable book."

"This book is ambitious, incredibly erudite wih 22 pages of references, and is indisputably clearly and beautifully illustrated. It is perfectly suited to a first course on the science of complexity." (Physicalia 2005, vol. 57, page 191-192)

"All-in-all, this highly recommended book is a wonderful resource for intuitive basic ideas in the need of rigorous formulation." (Albert A. Mullin, Zentralblatt MATH 2004, vol. 1046, page 5)

"‘This is the fourth revised and slightly enlarged edition’ of what has been a bestseller since its first publication in 1994. … This book is ambitious, incredibly erudite with 22 pages of references, and is indisputably clearly and beautifully written and illustrated. It is perfectly suited to a first course on the science of complexity. Even beginners and young graduate students will have something to learn from this book." (André Hautot, Physicalia, Vol. 57 (3), 2005)

"Here is the fourth edition of a highly successful sequence of editions of this excellent book on complexity theory and its implications. … The major change from the three earlier editions is a shift of emphasis from the complex dynamics of matter, mind, and mankind towards the computational dynamics of mind, matter and mankind. … 100 pages of useful new material have been added to the book. All-in-all, this highly recommended book is a wonderful resource for intuitive basic ideas in the need of rigorous formulation." (Albert A. Mullin, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1046 (21), 2004)

"Readers of this book will enjoy Mainzer’s exposition, which is based on a tight coupling between classical and historical concepts from Plato and Aristotle to modern, mathematical and physical developments … . Every chapter begins with a section designed to orient the reader to the perspective of philosophical developments through the ages pertinent to the topic at hand. … The author takes pains to point out essential differences between classical science and the science of complexity. … Thinking in Complexity is an outstandingly readable book." (Anutosh Moitra, The Industrial Physicist, August/September, 2004)

From the reviews of the fifth edition:

"A new fifth edition of ‘Thinking in Complexity’ reflects recent developments associated with complexity research in life and physical sciences, computer science, economics, social and cognitive sciences. … This valuable text on complexity theory and nonlinear dynamics features profound applications to important problems in natural and social sciences, culture, economics and serves both as a gentle introduction to complexity and a versatile encyclopedia where recent contributions to the field are thoroughly collected." (Yuri V. Rogovchenko, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1163, 2009)


Table of contents (2 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-540-72228-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $69.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-540-72227-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $69.95
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-642-44656-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Thinking in Complexity
Book Subtitle
The Computational Dynamics of Matter, Mind, and Mankind
Authors
Copyright
2007
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
eBook ISBN
978-3-540-72228-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-540-72228-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-540-72227-4
Softcover ISBN
978-3-642-44656-6
Edition Number
5
Number of Pages
XVIII, 482
Topics