The Adaptive Systems Theory of Social Orders
STUDIES IN EMERGENT ORDER VOL 2 (2009): 76-108
33 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2015
Date Written: January 20, 2009
Many social orders, including markets and science, can be understood as instances of adaptive systems, i.e., networks of active components whose interactions implement a persistent but mutable structure which is adaptable to its environment. This general model of social structure, being neither exclusively reductionist (in that it encompasses emergent phenomena and adaptive reactions at the system level) nor exclusively holistic (in that it pays due attention to the lower-level interactions which drive the system) can serve as a fertile source of novel ideas for investigating a range of social phenomena.
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