Editorial Introduction to Societal Complexity, Chaos Theory and Legal Problem Solving

Dorien DeTombe

Cor van Dijkum 

 

At the end of this memorable year, as well for society as well for science, we are glad to publish in this volume two interdisciplinary articles. In our global complex world with growing interdependencies  cooperation, negotiation and combining the best of knowledge and skills of different actors is the only way out of disasters. In science it is the way to genuine progress. That is each time proved in the natural sciences and sometimes in the social sciences. For our Journal, handling complex societal problems in a scientific way,  it is the only way.

In this Journal the two available articles combines two or more disciplines. With the combination of existing knowledge from two or more disciplines new insight is created. To describe, understand and explain  a complex societal phenomenon a combination of theories of different disciplines is needed. In an article of David Flynn, James Hay and Madeline Lennon (the scientific discipline of) art, chemical engineering and methodology in the article are working together. In an article of Antoinette Muntjewerff and  Dorien DeTombe law, education and methodology are combined to explain complex societal phenomena.

 

In the article of David Flynn, James Hay and  Madeline Lennon the question is ‘can network theory and chaos theory explain the cycles in art styles of artistic main streams?‘ Concepts from chaos and network theory such as ‘emergence of art systems’, ‘cycles of change’ are used to get an answer at this question. The authors describe the developments in art, in the city of Florence during the Renaissance period, for the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries.  They demonstrate in a convincing way, for that period, that the cycles of art styles can be described by the used concepts and their model of change.  It would be very interesting so see whether it would be possible to explain by the chaos theory future developments in art. We challenge our readers to reflect on this issue.

 

In the article of Antoinette Muntjewerff and Dorien DeTombe  An Instructional Environment for Learning to Construct a Case Description: e-See’ it is described how students are trained with an educational computer program called e-See to select from the complexity of real life those facts that are legal relevant. In law only relevant legal rules count. Traditional students are trained with cases that are more or less pre-programmed; in which the complexity of real life is already diminished. By given the students a video registration of a real life case, imbedded in a software program, the students are confronted with a real life case and get in this way the opportunity to select out of all the confusing data the relevant legal facts. In the e-see program the students are introduces to real life complexity. The e-See program is a part of a larger program of supporting education in law, the HYPATHIA program developed by Muntjewerff (2000). In this project a toolbox is created to support the training for learning the law for students and support of teachers by different computer programs.

 

We thank the authors for their contribution of this interesting volume and hope to get many reactions of the readers.

 

Chief editors

Cor van Dijkum

Dorien DeTombe