CONNECTIONS AND SYSTEMS
This text introduces a new paradigm of thought to which Edgar Morin and Lemoigne, (constructivism) in France, are closest, which is accepted and taught by many anglophone intellectuals and applied by many scientists within the framework of transdisciplinarity of their research.
This text on the mechanisms of systems and their connections could be the basic ground giving access the concepts of holism, uncertainty, complexity, chaos, emergence.
Perhaps I would add that many of these concepts are partially known in certain Far-Eastern cultures, of which Buddhism, and that, probably, we do nothing but ritualise and supplement ancient knowledge with contemporary terminology.
Summary of the arguments
- Any being or object, living or not, all items are SINGLE (unique) owing to the fact that the elements which formed it, are single
It is the temporary resultant (transitory) of all the events which constituted it since its origin.
- Any item receives, transforms and gives (entrants, transformation, extrants).
(Input, modification of item by integration and output)
- Any item is transitory owing to the fact that the elements, which constitute it, are transitory.
- Any item is characterized by the average of the frequencies of its cycle of input/output
- the more an item is "small" (according to our references) the more its cycle is short.
- Any extrant of an item is an intrant for another
- All items are inter-dependent because of their inter-connection
- The items take part in a" whole" in perpetual modification (holism)
An item remains as such only if the intrants and
extrants remain included between two values, minimum and maximum. If not, a
period of chaos results . And aggregation of the components in another item.
The observation of an item modifies the item and also the observer
- An observation is a partial and instantaneous sight of an item
An observation is valid for the observer and for when it was made.
The second part draws the conclusions concerning logic
- the verb "to be, is" must be used with caution
- an effect does not have one cause, but results from an infinity of causes
- a cause does not produce only one effect.
Our language of communication uses concepts
- ideals (from "idea"). These are empty entities that we fill with our suitability having no criterion of validity
- real. They apply to identifiable and identified
items, observed in a reality. These concepts remain valid within the framework
concerning the observations.
The ideal concepts are sources of conflict for lack of criteria of validity. They prevail since the origin of time and forged the tragic history of humanity. They are persistent.
The ***** are *****" is a null and unacceptable
assertion, because concerning ideal concepts.
CONNECTIONS and SYSTEMS
"There is only one wisdom: to know the Thought which controls all things through the Whole" (Héraclite from Ephèse).
Since the mists of times, the philosophers, "friends of wisdom", have always worked in two principal directions.
One of them consists in trying to understand the way in which nature "functions" (natura naturans). It seeks in the various fields of knowledge what is common ground for them.
One would speak, today of a philosophy of sciences.
Another of their concerns was to understand the operation of thought in order to separate, if possible, the "correct" reasoning of those which would be wrong and induce false conclusions
It is the development of a "logic".
A philosophy can be built only from available knowledge.
In the history of philosophy, Pythagore, Heraclite, Socrate, Aristote, Plato, laid down some of the first foundations.
Their knowledge was that of the fifth century before J.C., within the framework of Mediterranean culture.
At the beginning of XVIth century, Copernic replaced the illusion of the Earth as "center of the world", by the concept of Earth as a simple planet of the Sun. Earth was previously fixed and it became mobile. New conditions were then created for an update of philosophy.
Whereas Descartes formulates the concepts of analysis and synthesis, Leibnitz introduces those of dynamics into thought. Kant raises questions about the validity of our reasoning. By its dialectic and the play of quantities and qualities, Hegel introduces the concepts of interactivity and relativity.
However, at that time, the round of planets seemed immutable, registered as a fact for eternity, since eternity.
Light was supposed to move in a straight line.
Certainties were omnipresent. The asset of knowledge was final. What had been nourished on ignorance was stable, final, irrefutable
Science had established doctrines, the epistemology, which established the criteria according to which a result was scientific or not. And what was not "scientific" did not have any legal existence as an observable phenomenon. Epistemology is an extension of logic applied to scientific study.
But, since the end of the XIXth century, knowledge increased in a considerably way and in particular in the second part of this century.
It acquired, inter alia, relativity, quantum mechanics, theory of the fields, the principle of uncertainty, systemics, fractal geometry, theories of chaos, and the knowledge obtained by astrophysics (the big-bang, black holes).
All these theories, elaborated from observation, utilize a concept of interaction and movement.
The trajectory of light, rectilinear in the absolute, curves in the presence of a mass. By replacing the concept of a light "itself", absolute, by that of a light "compared to..." there is a more realistic approach to concept of light. The larger the ratio of the masses, the more the distortion becomes obvious.
The principle of uncertainty also shows that an observation "is curved" by the presence of the observation aids. The ratio of the sizes intervenes in the same way. Now it is known that research in the absolute is impossible. There is always a dialectical play between observer and observed.
A form in the absolute appears single to us. Sometimes fractal geometry shows that it can be a juxtaposition of several times its own form of lower size. It can become itself an element of a more significant, but always-identical form. A container and its contents can be identical, as to their form, but they exist of course on different scales.
There is the relation between observed and observer. There is also the relation between container and contents.
The development of data processing, by the need "for programming", appreciably modified our manner of thinking. Strictly linear programming (absolute) makes it possible to carry out only simple operations.
The use of "loops" (cycles) makes it possible to explore vaster territories thanks to the introduction of comparisons (if, then, do as long as, etc). Comparisons introduce relativity into the absolute. Programming then makes it possible to fix choices "compared to..."
An absolute consists in saying that the analyzed object is separated from its context, its environment, and by consequence, from the effects of the environment, by being unaware of the relationship between observer and what is observed.
It appears, whereas all the certainties were formerly triumphing, that they were shaken by this new vision of the world which, from fixed, becomes evolutionary, and where absolute becomes relative.
One certainty becomes many uncertainties. Whether strong, weak, or unperceivable, the errors of appreciation are always present.
Certainty loses its sense.
However, our way of thinking remains based on the concepts of syllogism, of excluded third, and of Cartesian analysis, which "lyses", breaks up a whole to find its components, with the accepted idea that the whole is the sum of its components. The Cartesians reason on the basis of absoluteness of phenomena.
None of these concepts integrates the concept of relativity, which states that if the cause induces the effect, the latter sooner or later ineluctably modifies the cause, because it had modified the environment. There, again, the ratio of size intervenes on the readability, visibility of the effect of feedback on the cyclic character of the phenomena, their immersion in a unit, the feedback effect, or the limits of validity, all subjects that will be developed, inter alia, in this text.
Do we continue to use an absolute approach in our thinking?
We are hardly aware of it, because it underlies all our intellectual, cultural and scientific training.
does not seem that theoretical formulations appear in contemporary philosophy, except
perhaps partially, through systemics, cybernetics, and holism.
We try, with modesty, to show a way ...