Response to Greg Fisher’s Social and Natural Complexity- A call for “scientific” humanism?

Social versus Natural complexity- insightful blog by Greg Fisher

The link to Mr. Fisher’s blog posting is above this text.

Thank you Mr. Fisher. I don’t know you personally but glad to “know” you now. Mr. Fisher, you have taken on the complicated task of tackling the demarcation between natural and social complexities. Rightfully, Mr. Fisher (no relation) highlights emergent properties, reflexivity, and natural versus social science’s land rights to complexity. I will concentrate my comments on his inclusion of “imagination” and reflexivity…Is this a call for acceptance of some kind of “scientific” humanism? Fisher perhaps should call upon Buber’s “I and Thou”, or perhaps a turn of Goffman’s dramaturgy. I would allow imagination to fall more globally under “humanism”. But we do love to label things… I am guilty as charged, man. But it cannot be denied that positivism and humanism are not often expected or happy bedfellows. I had been told that I incessantly asked more questions, scientific ones mind you. Just stop finding more leverage points already…This complexity is what I loved about science in the first place…I just needed systems science to call off our irreconcilable differences dissolution.

Maybe imagination, or better yet “scientific” humanism, needs to be “taught” and supported within healthcare. I see scientific humanism as overlaying the scientific inquiry with a dose of reality (external validity). Once we move away from the mechanism of heat and motion, we have interlocking social parts prone to emotives and chaos (Sounds like high school…). I am positing that perhaps Fisher’s musings about imagination may be satisfied in part by allowing the Holy Ghost of narrative to fall upon complexity scholars and practitioners.




About Michele Battle-Fisher

This is an archive of the Orgcomplexity Blog. Please follow me at the following sites: Michele Battle-Fisher (Facebook author page) mbattlefisher (Twitter) michele.battle.fisher (Skype) Author Website

4 thoughts on “Response to Greg Fisher’s Social and Natural Complexity- A call for “scientific” humanism?

  1. Dear Michele,

    thank you for your considered reply. Any friend of complexity is a friend of mine… which goes for systems approaches too.

    I thought I’d respond to your comment about the holy ghost of narrative. I would be very interested to know whether you agreed with my view on the “relationship” between reflexivity and narratives, which I discussed in this blog –

    In a nutshell, narratives help to resolve the reflexivity problem, as do certain norms. Not that the emerging narratives are necessarily ideal.

    Naturally, and as you implied, these subjects are substantial and blog articles are not the easiest places to discuss these things.

    Best wishes,

    Greg Fisher

  2. Mr. Fisher- I must clarify that I was adding to your great analysis. It did its job and made me question and want to reply hopefully in a thoughtful manner. The practical question becomes why is narrative so marginalized and ignored within scientific circles…I will respond to your reflexivity and narrative blog next!

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