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Borrowed KnowledgeChaos Theory and the Challenge of Learning across Disciplines$
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Stephen H. Kellert

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226429786

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226429809.001.0001

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Postmodern Chaos and the Challenge of Pluralism

Postmodern Chaos and the Challenge of Pluralism

(p.203) 9 Postmodern Chaos and the Challenge of Pluralism
Borrowed Knowledge
University of Chicago Press

This chapter surveys some of the supposed connections between postmodernism and chaos theory in literature, literary theory, and the law. It begins by looking at some examples of analogies and mismatches between chaos and postmodern literature. It then considers claims of resonances and conflicts between chaos theory and the movement within postmodern literary theory known as deconstruction. Next, it examines the role of chaos theory in postmodern legal thought, especially the work known as critical legal studies. The scrutiny of borrowed knowledge invites a reassessment of the relationships between the various knowledge-making disciplines. The chapter concludes by arguing once more for disciplinary pluralism. A pluralistic openness to a variety of approaches is helpful for more than the specific task of understanding borrowings from chaos theory; it can reshape our conception of knowledge making in general.

Keywords:   chaos theory, postmodernism, literature, literary theory, law, deconstruction, legal thought, knowledge

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