A conceptual framework that departs from the reductionism of scientific thinking by acknowledging that some of the most pressing and difficult problems facing humans early in the 21st century cannot be tackled, let alone solved, by adopting a conventional approach. Problems associated with increasing urbanization, global environmental change, prevention of violent armed conflicts, and the multiple pathological conditions of individuals and populations in an aging society are examples that fall within the realm of complexity theory. These and other complex problems transcend the boundaries of traditional scientific disciplines and can best be approached rationally by a team comprising scientists and technicians from many fields or by persons who are professionally trained in multiple disciplines. See also transdisciplinarity.
Subjects: Social Sciences.