The John N. Warfield Digital Collection

Permanent URI for this collection

Complexity has become embedded in the very framework of our society. Modern science and technology have achieved wonders, but they have also greatly increased the likelihood of encountering complex situations. Multifaceted problems and challenges can cripple organizations that are not properly prepared. Dr. John N. Warfield has dedicated his life to the study of complexity and developing methods of coping with it.

Warfield began his intellectual career studying electrical engineering and mathematics. This led him to work with early computer prototypes. Besides math and electrical engineering, Warfield became interested in group pathologies. He began to look at how and why people make decisions—especially in situations that involve a great deal of complexity. This led him to establish Interactive Management, a computer assisted process designed to help groups manage complex problems unique to their organizations.

Warfield bases his research in the empirical evidence of human behavior pathologies, application of design concepts in groups, and philosophical works dating back to Aristotle. One of Warfield’s greatest sources of inspiration was the pragmatist, Charles Sanders Peirce. Warfield dealt with a number of different subjects ranging from “thought about thought” to the current state of higher education.

His long and successful career has yielded a number of publications, honors, and awards. The John N. Warfield Collection presents many of Warfield’s most significant and influential works. This digital collection contains select textual and non-textual documents from the physical collection housed in the Special Collections Research Center in George Mason University Libraries.

Using This Collection

Search or browse by title of item, subject, or author. To view a digital object, click on link posted in yellow box under the heading "Files in This Item." This collection includes a number of multimedia objects. To ensure proper viewing we recommend using an up-to-date version of the QuickTime media player for video viewing.

Researchers may also browse the Guide to the John N. Warfield papers and the digital exhibition Attacking Complex Problems: The Life and Work of John N. Warfield