Our main aim is to provide a logical framework for complex adaptive system theory in Law. We will address at least two questions that pop up everywhere we mention complex adaptive system theory and law: (1) How bad are we in need of complexity theory at all? And, if this hurdle can be deal with, (2) How can relevant elements of complexity theory be made feasibly available to legal scholarship?
In order to prepare rebuttals to such questions we first create a reservoir of self-supporting paragraphs or blogs. When the collection is sufficiently rich, we use it as a source of building blocks of serious publications. In the initially more or less random collection we begin by distinguishing 8 categories:
Category P0 – Preliminaries
In this first Category (named P0 for Partition 0) we collect paragraphs on aspects of mainstream scholarly attitudes towards law, legal theory and complexity, and a few paragraphs on mainstream scholarly attitudes to methodology and epistemics. Concepts and terms are collected and their use explained. Also, hunches about relevancies for a few Complex Problems are collected. One of these Complex Problems concerns scientific, cross-disciplinary cooperation.
Category P1 – Structure
In this Category (named P1 for Partition 1) we collect paragraphs that describe forms and structures of systems and institutions, and collect hunches on how these can help to understand complex adaptive (networked) systems and their behaviors.
Category P2 – Dynamics
In the Category P2 we collect paragraphs on the dynamics of systems and system aggregates. Often these dynamics are described in cyclic models of processes, like in metabolics (e.g., the Krebs cycle), in evolution (Darwin’s reproduction-variation-selection), in teleologic behaviors (Wright), in intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (Deci). One issue to be discussed (Dennett, Gazzaniga) concerns the puzzles gained by increasing evidence on that what we think we choose has in fact been physically initiated before we could deliberate — and the need we feel to use concepts like guilt, responsibility, liability in our social exchanges (Partition 2).
Category P3 – Structure & Dynamics
Category P3 collects paragraphs focusing on interactions and relations between structures and dynamics. Thoughts on how the analysis in structure and dynamics of complex situations have de facto helped understand and manage social systems facing actual critical transitions find a place in this category. Also examples of how institutional ecologies may have co-evolved in between equilibrium and critical transitions fit in this category (Partition 3).
Category P4 – For Legal Professionals
Partition No. P4 is for blogs and paragraphs that illustrate how the conceptualizations, tools and techniques of Complexity theory can be useful to legal professionals in their various functions, especially when analyzing the complex situations they are considering and are required to address (Partition 4).
Category P5 – Law’s Emergence
We reserve a separate partition for blogs and paragraphs that address the legal system, its institutions, its professions and its professionals as CANSs themselves. With what will be collected here we hope to further find out how complex adaptive systems (legal systems included) can be modeled to emerge as complex contingencies that survive in niches, populated with other complex contingencies. For doing so, we also gather paragraphs and blogs on simulation and agent based modeling techniques, and how they can be made useful for practising the law (Partition 5).
P6 – Live Examples
We reserve another Partition for paragraphs that directly show examples from CANS theory tools application to Complex Problems (Partition 6).
Category P7 – Results
In Partition P7 we collect paragraphs that consider conclusions that emerge from looking at what has been collected in the other partitions. Most of these will have the form of falsifiable propositions. Especially important for this collection of paragraphs are heuristics that will support CANS theory reception by mainstream law professionals (Partition 7).
Category P8 – The Road Ahead
Our project is work in progress by definition. As long as homo sapiens survives as a species, there is no end state imaginable where our comprehension of socal institutions an their regulation will be in stasis and complete. So we will write blogs/paragraphs on how we appreciate what we are doing and have been doing, and on what is inviting to make us look further ahead (Partition 8).