I read this book primarily through an interest in the philosophy of language. Of particular relevance in this respect is the emphasis on a characterisation of complexity as being opposed to traditional notions of representation. Cilliers draws parallels between the philosophy of Saussure and Derrida and scientific developments in distributed representation, particularly with respect to connectionist approaches as implemented in neural networks. Cilliers argues that a classical representational theory of language that posits syntax as an instantiation of semantics does not sufficiently allow for the complexity evident in language, but rather that meaning is constituted by the dynamic relationships between both the components of language and the environment in which it is embedded. Cilliers explicitly rejects rule-based symbol systems as being adequete for modelling language, referring to recent scientific research using neural networks to simulate language learning indicating that "though rules may be useful to describe linguistic phenomena, explicit rules need not be employed when language is acquired or when it is used" (p. 32). In Chapter 4 (pp. 48-57), Cilliers considers the Chinese Room Gedankenexperiment from the perspective of his thesis. He suggests that the debate has unquestionably assumed that the formal model of language represented by the argument is correct, that is, that a rule-book such as the one supposed is even possible. Cilliers suggests that this assumes certain features of language: that a formal grammar for a natural language can be constructed and represented in a lookup table; that there is a clean split between syntax and semantics; and that language represents rather than constitutes meaning (p. 53).
The overall picture of language that Cilliers develops has important parallels with the views of Wittgenstein, though, somewhat surprisingly, Wittgenstein is never explicitly mentioned (except with regard to his family concepts). Firstly, meaning is construed as occuring through dynamic processes (use) rather than static representations (the conception that Wittgenstein's private language argument criticises). Secondly, the idea that there is some fact of the matter (whether inside or outside human agents) that determines meaning is explicitly rejected. Finally, a straightforward split between syntax and semantics is denied (a distinction that the sceptical interpretation of Wittgenstein, offered by Kripke, takes advantage of).
In summary, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in making connections between dynamic systems theory and philosophy of mind or language -- Cilliers proves an effective communicator in both of the fields he wishes to connect.