Rainer E. Zimmermann-Metaphysics of Emergence. Part 1-On the Foundations of Systems

Rainer E. ZIMMERMANN

METAPHYSICS OF EMERGENCE

PART 1: ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF SYSTEMS

Published in 2015 by Xenomoi Verlag, 272 pp.

This constitute a first part of what our colleague Rainer Zimmermann has been teaching us regarding the understanding of complexity, networks, systems, space and, of course, information as key concept of the dynamics of emergence. Among his reflections we can find relevant conclusions to the interdisciplinary conceptual and theoretical elucidation we are striving for through our glossariumBITri. You can find in this work a further elaboration of seminars, articles and contributions to congress in which BITrum has been involved for the last 5 years.

In fact, the theory of (emergent complex) systems as a recently more forthcoming (and somewhat reformed) discipline in its own right has been object of acute and intensive discussion and of a rather dynamical evolution, respectively, for quite some while. Unfortunately, this still ongoing discussion has not been very successful so far as to clarifying the most elementary and fundamental issues of definition and the consequences derived there-from. This is mainly because the otherwise welcome interdisciplinary discourse has been dominated originally by protagonists from the fields of economics, management, and the social sciences, in the first place, rather than by those of the more formalized sciences such as physics. However, the degree of universality of a theory is likely to increase with its connectivity to mathematics. Hence, in order to obtain a self-consistent theory of systems that displays a sufficient coherence with a view to its respective lexicology, syntax, and semantics, it is necessary to perform an explicit embedding into available formalisms of mathematical type such that its specific contextuality can be immediately reflected within the given frame of what is already known about the structure and evolution of nature. This motivation underlies this present project which can be understood as a survey on systems in terms of a suitable metaphysics of emergence. The mathematically based explication of systems is the first step (and thus constitutes the first volume) of a panoramatic approach to what we euphemistically call the world. But we shall bear in mind what the important point is after all: To look for the possibilities of grasping experience whilst recognizing that experience is always more than what can be said about it.

In XenomoiX

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Wolfgang Hofkirchner

EMERGENT INFORMATION: A UNIFIED THEORY OF INFORMATION FRAMEWORK

Hackensack, NJ, World Scientific Publishing (Hardcover: 274 pp, 70$)

The 3th of the World Scietific Series in Information Studies edited by Mark Burgin

At the dawn of the information age, a proper understanding of information and how it relates to matter and energy is of utmost importance for the survival of civilization. Yet, attempts to reconcile information concepts underlying science and technology with those en vogue in social science, humanities, and arts are rather rare. This book offers a new approach, departing from fragmented information concepts.

Many academics refrain from undergoing unifications, as most undertakings are reductionistic. This book contends that it is the noble task of an as-yet-to-be-developed science of information to go one step in the direction of a unified theory of information without falling back into neither reduction nor anthropomorphisation.

To be able to succeed in an ambitious task like this, the book advocates the application of complex systems theory and its philosophical underpinnings. Information needs to be interpreted in terms of self-organisation to do justice to the richness of its manifestations. The way the book does so will provide the reader with a deep insight into a basic feature of our world. (more…)


Wolfgang HofkirchnerInterviewer
: Francisco Salto & José María Díaz

Interviewee: Wolfgang Hofkirchner

Meet in the pleasant atmosphere of Sierra Pambley’s House (León, Spain), where the Colloquium BITae (around a unifying concept of information) was held in the last months of 2009, we interview Professor Hofkirchner with the goal of grasping some insights into his bold unifying approach to information.

We are very pleased to open this new arena for the furthering of the Science of Information interviewing you -Wolfgang- as a prominent figure in the Science of Information and leader of the Unified Theory of Information Reearch Group (UTI).


One of the main concerns of your work is the SYSTEM approach to information. There is a standard system concept defined as an arbitrary set with relations. How is system thinking to be applied to information? Moreover, which are in your view the limitations and strenghts of the standard concept of system?

In my opinion, the standard definition suffers from severe deficiencies. The most striking problem to me is that it does not account for the emergence of the systemic properties – and this despite the fact that system theory sets out to give a scientific understanding of the old saying “the whole is more than the sum of its parts”. By that the standard definition foregoes the necessity to define the essence of a system which is effects of synergy on the level of the system. It is essential to distinguish two different levels in a system: the level of the parts and the level of the whole, or the micro- and the macrolevel, and to point out that on the macrolevel you find these emergent properties but not on the microlevel, and that both levels are coupled together by a certain dynamics that lets these properties emerge.

(more…)