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The Multiplicity of Connections in a System

The human mind is capable of perceiving a great many things, and is the more capable, the more its body can be disposed in a great many ways. (Spinoza, 1677a, Ethics, II proposition XIV, p. 44)

In proportion as a body is more capable than others of doing many things at once, or being acted on in many ways at once, so its mind is more capable than others of perceiving many things at once. (Spinoza, 1677a, Ethics, II, Proposition XIII, scholium, p. 40)

The more subsystems that a system contains, the more complex it is because the possibility to organize the parts in different ways is greater. This argument allows one to distinguish between two types of complexity:

1. If all of the parts of a system are identical, only qualitatively different forms of organization can generate distinct organizations.

2. If all of the parts are different (heterogeneous), a single combining rule can create different organizations.

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