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#Complex Thinking for a Complex World – About Reductionism, Disjunction and Systemism, by Edgar Morin

This article is based on the keynote address presented to the European Meetings on Cybernetics and Systems Research (EMCSR) in 2012, on the occasion of Edgar Morin receiving the Bertalanffy Prize in Complexity Thinking, awarded by the Bertalanffy Centre for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS).


The following theses will be elaborated on: (a) The whole is at the same time more and less than its parts; (b) We must abandon the term "object" for systems because all the objects are systems and parts of systems; (c) System and organization are the two faces of the same reality; (d) Eco-systems illustrate self-organization.

 

Complex Thinking for a Complex World – About Reductionism, Disjunction and Systemism


Edgar Morin

 

Systema: connecting matter, life, culture and technology Vol 2, No 1 (2014)

 

http://www.systema-journal.org/article/view/257


Via Complexity Digest, Roger D. Jones, PhD
luiy's insight:

In this light is interesting to consider the nature of life. Living systems represent a complex type of organization. The organization of a living system is more complex than the  organization of the molecules of which it is composed. However, this organization is  achieved using only molecules from the physical universe – living systems are not made from something like ‘living matter’, but from ordinary physical and chemical substances.


“Life” is a property created through complex self-organisation. Life is characterized by processes of self-reproduction and self-repair, processes that involve knowledge and  memory. The central feature of a living system is the self-organizational capacity to produce
and reproduce itself. However, as von Foerster noted, calling this self-organisation is paradoxical, because the organizational processes of life require a continuous input of energy. We need energy even when we sleep – energy to drive our heartbeat, our digestion, our breathing. We use energy in all moments of life. However, we also need to compensate for the dissipation of energy in line with the second law of thermodynamics, and this means we must take in energy from the environment. We do this by ingesting material  that contains energy, and to this we need knowledge of the environment, and in particular knowledge of the organization of the environment. So self-organisation requires an interplay between the knowledge of how to organize the self and the knowledge of how the environment is organized.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, April 13, 2014 10:21 PM

There is a kind of meditation in Buddhist practice known as analytical meditation.  It's purpose is to inform us about an object, all of its properties and all of the associations, connections and contexts that it can have in the individual and collective sense. 

 

We're not going to be perfect coming up with all of the connections all of the time.  However, I think it's a good starting basis for the purposes of analyzing complex systems and all of the layered, interconnected parts.  We are one, and one is all.

 

The universe is us as well as around us.


And that's a scientific fact, it seems.

 

Think about it.

Luciano Lampi's curator insight, April 14, 2014 2:37 PM

objects versus systems?

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Edgar Morin, une voie pour éviter le désastre annoncé | #socialchange

Edgar Morin, une voie pour éviter le désastre annoncé | #socialchange | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
Entretien avec l'ancien résistant et philosophe qui, dans son livre "La Voie", dresse un constat sévère des maux contemporains.
luiy's insight:

Vous défendez dans « La Voie » la démocratie participative, un concept de Royal.

 

Elle avait raison. Il y a des exemples au Brésil où la population examine certains budgets... Il doit y avoir je crois comme complément à la démocratie parlementaire et institutionnelle une démocratie de base qui puisse contrôler, voire décider de certains problèmes comme la construction d’un bout d’autoroute, l’installation d’une usine...

Je suis favorable à la démocratie participative mais je sais que ce n’est pas une solution magique. Le risque est que les populations les plus concernées en soit absentes, les vieux, les femmes, les jeunes, les immigrés...

 

Il y a aussi le risque que ces assemblées soient noyautées par des partis. Cette manie des petits partis trotskistes de toujours noyauter. Ils croient bien faire et en réalité, ils détruisent tout ! Voyez l’altermondialisme.

 

Souvent aussi, ce sont les forts en gueule qui jouent les rôles les plus importants et beaucoup se taisent. Il y a toute une éducation à faire sur la démocratie participative.

 

Si on amorce la pompe au renouveau citoyen, les choses peuvent se développer. Il faut créer des instituts où l’on enseigne aux citoyens les grands problèmes politiques. Comme il y a un dessèchement de la démocratie, la régénération de la démocratie compte.

 

Pourtant, la plus grande difficulté, c’est le désenchantement. Les vieilles générations ont cru à la révolution, au communisme, à la société dite industrielle, à la prospérité, à la fin des crises. Raymond Aron disait : « La société industrielle ferait la moins mauvaise société possible. » Il y avait des espoirs, le socialisme arabe, les révolutions... Tous ces espoirs se sont effondrés.

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