Is Cognitive Science Usefully Cast as Complexity Science?


should be sent to Guy Van Orden, CAP Center for Cognition, Action & Perception, University of Cincinnati, ML 0376, OH 45221-0376. E-mail: or Damian G. Stephen, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, 3 Blackfan Circle, Floor 5, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail:


Readers of TopiCS are invited to join a debate about the utility of ideas and methods of complexity science. The topics of debate include empirical instances of qualitative change in cognitive activity and whether this empirical work demonstrates sufficiently the empirical flags of complexity. In addition, new phenomena discovered by complexity scientists, and motivated by complexity theory, call into question some basic assumptions of conventional cognitive science such as stable equilibria and homogeneous variance. The articles and commentaries that appear in this issue also illustrate a new debate style format for topiCS.