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Reflexive Autopoietic Systems Theory

Reflexive Autopoiesis and Weak Measures (adobe pdf) rough draft

 Working Papers

Hacking the Essence of Software

The Essential Nature of Product Traceability and its relation to Agile Approaches

What are the Principles that arise in Practice?Principled Software Systems Engineering Practices

ISSS Conference 2012

International Society of Systems Sciences

Special Systems Theory


A new advanced systems theory concerning the emergent nature of the Social, Consciousness and Life based on Mathematics and Physical Analogies is presented. This meta-theory concerns the distance between the emergent levels of these phenomena and their ultra-efficacious nature. The theory is based on the distinction between Systems and Meta-systems (organized Openscape environments). We first realize that we can understand the difference between the System and the Meta-system in terms of the relation between a ‘Whole greater than the sum of the parts’ and a ‘Whole less than the sum of its parts’, i.e. a whole full of holes (like a sponge) that provide niches for systems in the environment. Once we understand this distinction and clarify the nature of the unusual organization of the Meta-system, then it is possible to understand that there is a third possibility which is a whole exactly equal to the sum of its parts that is only supervenient like perfect numbers. In fact, there are three kinds of Special System corresponding to the perfect, amicable and sociable aliquot numbers. These are all equal to the sum of their parts but with different degrees of differing and deferring of what Derrida calls “differance”. All other numbers are either excessive (systemic) or deficient (metasystemic) in this regard. The Special Systems are based on various mathematical analogies and some physical analogies. But the most important of the mathematical analogies is with the hypercomplex algebras which include the Complex Numbers, Quaternions and Octonions, with the Sedenions corresponding to the Emergent Meta-system. However other analogies are the Hopf fibrations between hyperspheres of various dimensions, nonorientable surfaces, soliton solutions, etc. These special systems have a long history within the tradition since they can be traced back to the imaginary cities of Plato. The Emergent Meta-system is a higher order global structure that includes the System with the three Special Systems as a cycle. An example of that from our tradition is in the Monadology of Leibniz. There is an conjunctive relation between the System schema and the Special Systems that produces the Meta-system schema which appears as this cycle. The Special Systems are a meta-model for the relation between the emergent levels of Consciousness (Dissipative Ordering based on the theory of negative entropy of Prigogine), Living (Autopoietic Symbiotic based on the theory of Maturana and Varela), Social (Reflexive based on the theory of John O’Malley and Barry Sandywell).

Keywords: Hypercomplex Algebras, Hopf Fibrations, Hyperspheres, Special Systems, Systems Theory, Autopoiesis, Dissipative Structures, Reflexive Systems, Social Theory, Sociology, Consciousness, Life, Meta-systems, OpenScapes, Emergence, Soltons, Breathers, Mobius Strips, Kleinian Bottles, Aliquot Numbers, Hopf fibrations, Hyperspheres

Special Systems Theory paper (pdf) new 20130621

Special Systems Theory briefing (pdf)

Special Systems Theory talk (mp3)


Extensions of Len Troncale's System of Systems Process Isomorphisms briefing (pdf)

Extensions of Len Troncale's System of Systems Process Isomorphisms talk (mp3)

Social Systems Engineering briefing (pdf)

Social Systems Engineering talk (mp3)

Social Systems Enginering draft paper

SCPTLS Conference 2011

Society for Chaos in Psychology and the Life Sciences

Special Systems Theory briefing (ppt) (pdf)

Special Systems Theory talk (mp3)

CSER 2011

Reworking the Integral System Engineering Method Domain Specific Languages paper

Integral Systems Engineering Methodology briefing

conference: talk mp3
podcast: tutorial mp3

See Emergent Design for conferences during Ph.D. work in the the interveneing years.

ISSS Conference 2004

See ISSS.org

Final Papers:

From General Systems Theory to General Schemas Theory

Conference Talk

Draft Presentation

Science and the Metaphysics of Emergence

Conference Talk

Draft Presentation


Possible Grounds For A Reflexive Sociology (adobe pdf) final 

Slides for talk given at Conference (powerpoint)

Audio WAV file of Talk at ISCT 2003

Papers written for INCOSE 2002

Anti-Terror Meta-systems Engineering (adobe pdf) final  (html) accepted
Vajra Logics and Mathematical Meta-models for Meta-systems Engineering (adobe pdf) final  (html) accepted

Slides for talk given at Conference [large] (adobe pdf)

Audio WAV file of Talk at INCOSE 2002

Meta-system Engineering Futures (adobe pdf) draft  (html)


Metaphysics of Emergence

A Strange Kind of Being Emerges

The Multlith of Being

Other related papers:

Meta-systems Engineering presenation

Meta-systems Engineering INCOSE2000 paper (adobe pdf

An Approach Toward Being, Existence and Manifestation  paper (adobe pdf)

Deep Mathematics and Meta-Systems Theory (adobe pdf)

Thinking Through Cyberspace presentation

Wild Software Meta-systems electronic book

Emergent Worlds Theory introduction

Gurevich Abstract State Machines in Theory and Practice paper (adobe pdf)

Holonomic Theory of Consciousness paper (adobe pdf)


Related Links

 System of Systems



Social Simulation


Reflexive Theory

Journal of Autopoietic Theory

Kent Palmer

Keywords: meta-system, systems theory, holonomics, holons, systems engineering, reflexive, sociology