Introduction: From Linear to Nonlinear Thinking

  • Klaus Mainzer


The theory of nonlinear complex systems has become a successful problem solving approach in the natural sciences — from laser physics, quantum chaos, and metereology to molecular modeling in chemistry and computer-assisted simulations of cellular growth in biology. On the other hand, the social sciences are recognizing that the main problems of mankind are global, complex, and nonlinear, too. Local changes in the ecological, economic, or political system can cause a global crisis. Linear thinking and the belief that the whole is only the sum of its parts are evidently obsolete. One of the most exciting topics of present scientific and public interest is the idea that even our mind is governed by the nonlinear dynamics of complex systems. If this thesis of computational neuroscience is correct, then indeed we have a powerful mathematical strategy to handle interdisciplinary problems of natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.


Nonlinear Interaction Nonlinear Complex System Linear Quantum Macroscopic Phenomenon Interdisciplinary Application 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Mainzer
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Philosophie und WissenschaftstheorieUniversität AugsburgAugsburgGermany

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