The Theory of Complex Phenomena

“The Theory of Complex Phenomena.” In Mario A. Bunge (ed.) The Critical Approach to Science and Philosophy: Essays in Honor of Karl R. Popper. New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, Inc., 1964.


“Man has been impelled to scientific inquiry by wonder and by need. Of these wonder has been in comparably more fertile. There are good reasons for this. Where we wonder we have already a question to ask. But however urgently we may want to find our way in what appears just chaotic, so long as we do not know what to look for, even the most attentive and persistent observation of the bare facts is not likely to make them more intelligible. Intimate acquaintance with the facts is certainly important; but systematic observation can start only after problems have arisen. Until we have definite questions to ask we cannot employ our intellect; and questions presuppose that we have formed some provisional hypothesis or theory about these events.”

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