Chapter 12: The dialectic as driver of complexity in urban and social systems
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This chapter considers what can be learned from the study of urban systems considered as complex networks of spatial relations that might shed light on the rapid acceleration in human progress after their first invention around 10,000 BC. Using Hillier’s key notion of the objective subject, Karl Marx and Vilfredo Pareto’s distinct notions of the dialectic are reviewed. The contribution of space syntax research to consideration of the objective and subjective experience of urban systems is described, before finally proposing a dynamic bi-directional process in which the dialectic delivers continued progress in human development.

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