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«Edited by Vladimir Arshinov and Christian Fuchs Acknowledgement: This book is a result of the research project “Human Strategies in Complexity” ...»

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Causality, Emergence, Self-Organisation

Edited by

Vladimir Arshinov and Christian Fuchs

Acknowledgement: This book is a result of the research project “Human Strategies

in Complexity” funded by the International Association for the Promotion of

Cooperation with Scientists from the New Independent States of the Former Soviet

Union (INTAS) of the European Union (contract number MP/CA 2000-298) and

supported by the Austrian Ministry for Education, Science, and Culture.


Contents Preface 5 Vladimir Arshinov and Christian Fuchs I. Causality and Emergence Emergence of Cause or Cause of Emergence? 19 Irina Dobronravova An Integrative Image of Causality and Emergence 23 Klaus Brunner and Bert Klauninger Decentralisation as Organising Principle of Emergent Urban Structures 36 Rainer E. Zimmermann An Integrated Notion of “Law” 56 Annette Schlemm The Spontaneity of Emergent Events and the Formation of Facts 76 Yuriy Myelkov II. Principles of Synergetics II.1. General Systems Evolutionism, the Anthropic Principle, and New Rationality 85 Vyacheslav Stepin A New Way of Thinking and A New World View.

On the Philosophy of Self-Organisation I. 131 Wolfgang Hofkirchner Fundamental Properties of Self-Organisation 150 John Collier Principles of Synergetics 167 Vladimir Budanov and Natalya Savicheva 3 Synergetic Knowledge: Between the Network and the Principles 182 Vladimir I. Arshinov and Vjacheslav E. Voitsekhovich II.2. Physical Systems Dialectical Philosophy and Self-Organisation 195 Christian Fuchs Emergence and Self-Organisation of Complex Systems.

The Role of Energy Flows and Information 245 Norbert Fenzl Spinoza, the ”Very Untranscendental“. Ernst Bloch´s Interpretation of Spinoza 259 Doris Zeilinger II.3. Biological Systems Organisation in Biological Systems 287 John Collier II.4. Social Systems The Autocreation of Communication and the Re-creation of Actions in Social Systems 303 Christian Fuchs and Gottfried Stockinger Action, Communication, and Creativity.

A Contribution from a Meadean Perspective 322 Franz Ofner 4 Preface Preface This book is a result of the international INTAS research project “Human Strategies in Complexity. Philosophical Foundations for a Theory of Evolutionary Systems” (see http://www.self-organization.org) that has been funded by the International Association for the Promotion of Cooperation with Scientists from the New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (INTAS) of the European Union (contract number MP/CA 2000-298) and supported by the Austrian Ministry for Education, Science, and Culture. The project is a co-operation between research teams from Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and Austria. The project team includes partners from the Synergetics Group at the Institute of Philosophy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Chair of Philosophy and Methodology of Science at the Kiev National Shevchenko University, the Interdisciplinary Study Group on Philosophical Problems of Foundation at the University of Kassel, and the Unified Theory of Information Group at the Institute of Design and Technology Assesment at the Vienna University of Technology.

The project members are:

Moscow: Vladimir Arshinov, Vladimir Budanov, Vjacheslav Stepin (Moscow team leader), Natalya Savicheva, Vjacheslav Voitsekhovich Kiev: Tatyana Belous, Irina Dobronravova (Kiev team leader), Yuriy Myelkov Kassel: Inga Gammel, Tarja Kallio-Tamminen, Sabine Ley, Annette Schlemm, Doris Zeilinger, Rainer Zimmermann (Kassel team leader) Vienna: Klaus Brunner, John Collier, Günther Ellersdorfer, Norbert Fenzl, Christian Fuchs, Wolfgang Hofkirchner (overall project co-ordinator, Vienna team leader), Bert Klauninger, Franz Ofner, Gottfried Stockinger Emergence and self-organisation are the two main concepts that this book and the research project “Human Strategies in Complexity” focus on. We want to give a general characterisation of both concepts.

Aspects of emergence are:

• Synergism: Emergence is due to the productive interaction between entities.

Synergy is a very general concept that refers “to combined or ´co-operative´ effects – literally, the effects produced by things that ´operate together´ (parts, elements or individuals)” (Corning 1998: 136). Synergy takes place and shapes systems on all organisational levels of matter, it is a fundamental quality of matter. Synergies between interacting entities are the cause of the evolution and persistence of emergent systems.

5 Vladimir Arshinov and Christian Fuchs

Novelty: On a systemic level different from the level of the synergetically • interacting entities new qualities show up. Emergent qualities are qualities that have not been previously observed and have not previously existed in a complex system (“a whole is more than the sum of its parts”).

Irreducebility: The new produced qualities are not reduceable to or derivable • from the level of the producing, interacting entities.

Unpredictability: The form of the emergent result and the point of emergence • can´t be fully predicted.

Coherence/Correlation: Complex systems with emergent qualities have some • coherent behaviour for a certain period of time (Goldstein 1999). This coherence spans and correlates the level of the producing entities into a unity on the level of emergence (ibid.).

Historicity: Emergent qualities are not pre-given, but the result of the • dynamical development of complex systems.

Emergence is a fundamental quality of self-organising systems. Aspects of selforganisation are:

• Systemness: Self-organisation takes place in a system, i.e. in coherent whole that has parts, interactions, structural relationships, behaviour, state, and a border that delimits it from its environment.

• Complexity: Self-organising systems are complex systems. The term “complexity” has three levels of meaning: 1. there is self-organization and emergence in complex systems (Edmonds 1999), 2. complex systems are not organised centrally, but in a distributed manner; there are many connections between the system´s parts (Kauffman 1993, Edmonds 1999), 3. it is difficult to model complex systems and to predict their behaviour even if one knows to a large extent the parts of such systems and the connections between the parts (Heylighen 1996, 1997; Edmonds 1999). The complexity of a system depends on the number of its elements and connections between the elements (the system´s structure). According to this assumption, Kauffman (1993) defines complexity as the “number of conflicting constraints” in a system, Heylighen (1996) says that complexity can be characterised by a lack of symmetry (symmetry breaking) which means that “no part or aspect of a complex entity can provide sufficient information to actually or statistically predict the properties of the others parts” and Edmonds (1996) defines complexity as “that property of a language expression which makes it difficult to formulate its overall behaviour, even when given almost complete information about its atomic components and their inter-relations”. Aspects of complexity are things, people, number of elements, number of relations, non-linearity, broken symmetry, non-holonic constraints, hierarchy and emergence (Flood/Carson 1993).

6 Preface

Cohesion: Cohesion means the closure of the causal relations among the • dynamical parts of a dynamical particular that determine its resistance to external and internal fluctuations that might disrupt its integrity (Collier 2003, 2004). It is a “dividing glue” of dynamic entities (ibid.).

Openness: self-organisation can only take place if the system imports energy • which is transformed within the system, as a result energy is exported. Selforganisation is entropy reduction.

Bottom-up-Emergence: A perturbation causes the system´s parts to interact • synergetically in such a way that at least one new quality on a higher level emerges.

Downward Causation: Once new qualities of a system have emerged they • along with the other structural macor-aspects of the system influence, i.e.

enable and constrain, the behaviour of the system´s parts. This process can be described as top-down-emergence if new qualities of certain parts (seen as wholes or systems themselves) show up.

Non-linearity: Emergence is based on non-linear causality, i.e. causes and • effects can´t be mapped linearly: similar causes can have different effects and different causes similar effects; small changes of causes can have large effects whereas large changes can also only result in small effects (but nonetheless it can also be the case that small causes have small effects and large causes large effects).

Feedback loops, Circular causality: there are feedback loops within a self organising system; circular causality involves a number of processes p1, p2, …., pn (n≥1) and p1 results in p2, p2 in p3, …., pn-1 in pn and pn in p1. Selforganisation can be envisioned as a circular loop in the sense that the level of elements and the structural level are complexly mutually causally related. This mutual relationship is productive, complex, and non-linear.

Information: All self-organising systems are information generating systems.

• Information is the processual relationship between self-organising material units that form a coherent whole that has emergent properties.

Relative Chance: there are both aspects of chance and necessity in self organising systems; certain aspects are determined, whereas others are relatively open and according to chance Hierarchy: The self-organisation of complex systems produces a hierarchy in • two distinctive senses: 1. The level of emergence is a hierarchically higher level, i.e. it has additional, new emergent qualities that can´t be found on the lower level which is comprised by the components. The upper level is a sublation of the lower level. 2. Self-organisation results in an evolutionary hierarchy of different system types, these types are hierarchically ordered in the sense that upper levels are more complex and have additional emergent qualities.

7 Vladimir Arshinov and Christian Fuchs

Globalisation and Localisation: Bottom-up-emergence means the globalising • sublation of local entities, downward causation the localisation of more global qualities.

Unity in Plurality (Generality and Specifity): On the one hand each type of • self-organising system is characterised by a number of distinctive qualities that distinguish it from other self-organising systems. On the other hand each type of self-organising system also shares general principles and qualities with all other types of self-organising systems. Both generality/unity and specifity/plurality are characteristic of self-organising systems.

Science itself is a self-organising system. It develops in such a way that phases of relative stability are followed by phases of fundamental innovations. The latter constitute discontinuous breaks that are characterised by rapid change and fluctuations from which new scientific order emerges. During such scientific bifurcation points a new scientific paradigm emerges. Such a paradigm refers to the “entire constellation of beliefs, values, techniques, and so on shared by the members of a given community” (Kuhn 1962: 175). The evolution of science is a discontinuous process where the emergence of new paradigm causes spontaneous rupture and new development stages. Such paradigm shifts can be both found in particular scientific disciplines as well as in science as a general system.

Since the sixties a scientific paradigm shift has been underway towards a Theory of Evolutionary Systems. During the last two decades an increasing body of scientific literature on topics of self-organisation has emerged that taken together represents

a huge shift of focus in science:

• from structures and states to processes and functions

• from self-correcting to self-organising systems

• from hierarchical steering to participation

• from conditions of equilibrium to dynamic balances of non equilibrium

• from single trajectories to bundles of trajectories

• from linear causality to circular causality

• from predictability to relative chance

• from order and stability to instability, chaos and dynamics

• from certainty and determination to a larger degree of risk, ambiguity and uncertainty

• from reductionism to emergentism

• from being to becoming Still there are gaps in theoretical knowledge about self-organisation to which philosophical theorizing may put forward heuristic offers. The project “Human

–  –  –

Strategies in Complexity” undertakes the task to help to fill some of the gaps. The

objectives are:

• To contribute to a single and comprehensive transdisciplinary scientific research programme for investigating self-organisation by elaborating selected epistemological, ontological and axiological implications, thus attempting at unifying the scattered approaches in the so-called non-linear science of complexity.

• To contribute to a scientific understanding of the "feedback-loop" of human action and reflection in a historical moment in which the destiny of the world system is at stake.

In July 1999 a first official meeting of the project members took place in Vienna that was intended to exchange scientific views on self-organisation and draft a joint research proposal. As a result a first project proposal was produced that was submitted to the INTAS-program. After one redraft it was accepted in early 2001 and achieved excellent marks in the evaluation process. It had ranking two in the evaluation procedure, there were 19 projects out of 90 funded in the fields of economics, human and social sciences. Thus, the success rate was less than 20 %.

The project started in July 2001, its duration is 36 months.

The papers gathered in this volume are the outcome of a project seminar week that took place in Yalta from July 1st until 8th, 2002. The contributions were written for the subtasks 1.1. and 1.2. of the project. These two tasks concentrate on the issues “Causality and Emergence“ (1.1.) and “Principles of Synergetics“ (1.2.).

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