Complexity, ecology and the materiality of information

John Smith, Christopher Joseph Jenks

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This article contributes to understanding the effect of complexity theory on the social sciences. It analyses the relationships between complex processes of self-organization and the environment or ecology in which these dynamics take place. Two factors are prioritized: the role of information in the formation of complex structure and the development of 'land-scapes' or topologies of possibility (and impossibility). The authors argue for an ontology that founds both material and informational structures, and for a radical continuity between the general thermodynamics of emergent complex orders, cognitive theory and the complex structures of human thought and culture.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTheory, Culture and Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptation
  • Auto-eco-organization
  • Auto-exo-reference
  • Contingency (or randomness)
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Operational closure
  • Post-natal plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Complexity, ecology and the materiality of information'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this