PSA Symposium ‚Laws and Complex Systems‘

PSA 2012, San Diego (USA)
November 15-17, 2012

Organizer: Alexander Reutlinger

James Ladyman (University of Bristol)
Alexander Reutlinger (University of Cologne)
Michael Strevens (New York University)
Karoline Wiesner (University of Bristol)
Jessica Wilson (University of Toronto)

Ladyman & Wiesner: „The Nature of Complex Systems: Order, Causation and Law“

Reutlinger: „Why are there any Robust Laws of Complex Systems?“

Strevens: „Simplicity, Dependence, and the Sciences of Complexity“

Wilson: „Metaphysical Emergence in Complex Systems“

The aim of this symposium is to investigate several aspects of laws in the sciences of complex systems. The philosophical investigation of complex systems is still significantly underdeveloped in philosophy of science – in particular, the topic of laws in complex systems is a new area of research. In the light of typical features of the macro-behavior of complex systems (such as robustness, universality, non-linearity etc.), the contributions of this symposium will focus on three questions:
I. Is there an adequate explication of complexity? And, if so, which lessons can we learn from this explication regarding our understanding of laws, emergence and causation in the sciences of complex systems?
II. How can we explain the surprising fact that there are any robust and universal macro-laws at all?
III. How do facts about macro-laws metaphysically depend on micro-facts in complex systems? Is the lawful macro-behavior of dynamically complex systems emergent? And, if so, is the emergence at issue metaphysical or (merely) epistemological?

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the organizer: