In this chapter Hiroshi Tasaka explains that complexity theory may become a new paradigm across all domains of knowledge, which emphasizes “knowing the whole” through such principles as emergence, coherence, and coevolution.
Complexity is becoming a keyword at the cutting edge of modern thought. In the vanguard of this movement are the Brussels school led by Ilya Prigogine, a Nobel laureate in chemistry, and the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. The latter, in particular, in recent years has attracted scores of researchers, from all over the world and from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities alike, who are passionately engaged in the study of chaos theory, self-organization, artificial life, and many other leading-edge topics with a view to breaking ground in these new realms of knowledge for the twenty-first century. Their enthusiasm has made its way across the Pacific and spread to Japan, where it has given rise to the current “complexity” boom. Nevertheless, as this boom heats up in Japan, serious misapprehensions and illusions are being generated about the nature of complexity—that it is some kind of “new theory,” the use of which will make it possible to analyze the properties of even complex phenomena and predict their behavior.