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Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems
This paper is an overview of the author's ongoing reflections on the need for a new paradigm of complexity capable of informing all theories, whatever their field of application or the phenomena in question. Beginning with a critique of General System Theory and the principle of holism with which it is associated, the author suggests that contemporary advances in our knowledge of organization call for a radical reformation in our organization of knowledge. This reformation involves the mobilization of recursive thinking, which is to say a manner of thinking capable of establishing a dynamic and generative feedback loop between terms or concepts (such as whole and part, order and disorder, observer and observed, system and ecosystem, etc.) that remain both complementary and antagonistic. The paradigm of complexity thus stands as a bold challenge to the fragmentary and reductionistic spirit that continues to dominate the scientific enterprise.