The Challenge of Complexity book cover with a purple backdrop

Faculty Book Launch "The Challenge of Complexity: Essays by Edgar Morin"

With "The Challenge of Complexity: Essays by Edgar Morin," Heath-Carpentier has brought this truly global writer to Anglophone audiences. 

In The Challenge of Complexity, Dr. Amy Heath-Carpentier gathers in one volume over 32 essays by the esteemed French philosopher and sociologist, Edgar Morin, probably France's greatest living public intellectual, some for the first time in English. Edgar Morin, the son of Sephardi parents from Salonika who emigrated to Paris, was born 101 years ago. Morin is an erudite and eloquent witness to a century of transformation, always drawn by curiosity and never deterred by disciplinary boundaries. With The Challenge of Complexity: Essays by Edgar Morin, Heath-Carpentier has brought this truly global writer to Anglophone audiences. 

The essays span six decades of his career, addressing topics such as complexity, sociology, ecology, education, film, biology, and politics. At his centenary (July 2021), Morin holds honorary doctorates from over 20 universities in Europe and Latin America, and recently the Centre d'Études Transdisciplinaires, Sociologie, Anthropologie, Histoire, at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the prestigious French National Research Center, was renamed the Centre Edgar-Morin. He is also the UNESCO Chair of Complex Thought. Several university centres and institutes have been dedicated to advancing his work in Europe and Latin America. He is the author of more than 80 books, translated into 28 languages, and the 1960 documentary Chronicle of a Summer, which he co-directed with Jean Rouch, has become a classic and the first example of cinéma vérité.

Morin's work on complexity is distinct from the mathematically driven science of complexity. He argues for an epistemological revolution and focuses on the need to develop complex thought to address the lived complexity of an interconnected, interdependent, uncertain world. Morin's contribution in such a wide range of disciplines has been influential because of his ability to bring complex thought to bear on seemingly diverse topics, reflecting on the limitations of how they are approached and articulating a transdisciplinary way that doesn't sacrifice complexity in an effort to find an oversimplified clarity. Morin illuminates the complexity and creativity of the world and of our lived experience, and invites us to participate in the creative process that is existence itself. A substantive overview of Morin's philosophical journey by Alfonso Montuori introduces the reader to Morin's remarkable work and life. And the work is completed by a substantive Letter from Edgar Morin, putting his life's work in the context of recent advances in Science and the Humanities.