The Cybernetics of the Operative Actions: An Idea from Practice (Does Science-Praxis Relation Matter on Systemic Thinking within the Operative Actions?)
UK Systems Society - International Conference 2013 (September 9-11, 2013, St. Anne College, Oxford, UK): Systems & Society: Ideas from Practice
97 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 11, 2013
This study is dedicated to two prominent personalities: Jan Christiaan Smuts (May 24, 1870-September 11, 1950) and Ludwig Von Bertalanffy (September 19, 1901-June 12, 1972), and to their research and foundation of “Holism,” and “General System Theory.”
The study is intended to directly respond to the open theme of this year’s UK Systems Society - International Conference 2013 (September 9-11, 2013, St. Anne College, Oxford, UK): Systems & Society: Ideas from Practice - and, also, tends to be a part of the multi-logue, maybe, proper to the set of communications/posters which would be presented on the Conference period. The organizers’ first part of this possible multi-logue is comprised by the evoked “one example...covered in the Press, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 had far reaching consequences, causing extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats, to the Gulf's fishing and tourism industries” - as to be comprised as an operative problem - demanding operative actions.
At least to this “one example“ for this International Conference 2013, this poster addresses the presentation of an systemic approach entitled as: “Operative Actions.” This type of systemic action delimitates the contextual resources (R), criteria (C), types of actions/reactions (-->) and (desired versus obtained) objectives(O); i.e. R--C-->O - as an existential-(hypothetical)represented relation.
All of these conceptual entities (reflecting the both non-observable and observable entities) are to be (operatively) represented alongside the case that an Operative Problem is constituted. So, an Operative Problem, if it is constituted and identified, than an Operative Action (one at least) is Structural and Functional Required within that system [i.e. the system that contents that constituted problem - and, as soon as possible, that there are represented “the parts” of the problem/also according to R--C-->O – as a representational relation].
All of these conceptual entities (R; C; O; -->) have not a “large” amount of material and ideal elements. One of the most constrained resources being a temporal resource: Admissable Time for Reaction (reaction to the constituted and identified Operative Problem).
The entire Operative System which is able to act/react operatively is either “before” constituted, or “alongside” constituted to an identified Operative Problem. Within this Operative System - as a Human-Machine-System - the representation, the decision(s) making, the action/reaction - and its step by step recurrence, the revised functionality/ and structure/of the entire system fronted with an Operative Problem (persistent or not) have/may have operative features. The representation (the initial and the step by step adapted model) would be based on probability/statistic, fuzzy and subtle knowledge/information.
Example of Operative Systems may be given within the following domains: military, health emergence, economic and political/social alerts/incidents/accidents, natural and urban/rural disasters (earthquakes, floods, fire, etc.), etc. Within the large possible, probable, fuzzy and subtle cases of the adversity, affliction, calamity, cataclysm, catastrophe, emergency, exigency, failure, fall, misfortune, ruination, the worst, tragedy, woe, etc. The Decision Maker (military or civilian) must (can and will) to (re)act - and not to postpone the situation - just in order to stop the damage and to continuously prevent the extend of the damage (including human death, and ecological failure - as in the Conference example). The study (re)presents the knowledge within the (1989/1990) proponent’s research/study - and an actual research finding: Subtle Corpus (as a model for decision making flows, including the operative case).
The figure of Jan Christiaan Smuts is one of those tantalising elusive in the history of both Philosophy and Politics. Though widely admired in his day, his long term military heroism, his eight periods of occupying South African political offices (1910/1948) and three academic offices (1931/1950), and a set of original constructs (i.e. 'Holism' - defined as in his 1926 book, Holism and Evolution, "the tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution," univocity of being; e.g.: "Walt Whitman: A Study in the Evolution of Personality," 1893-1973, supreme argument for the human existence; e.g.: "The fight for human freedom is indeed the supreme issue of the future, as it has always been." Oct.17th 1934: Rectorial Address delivered at Saint Andrews University, 'The emotional appeal of nature is tremendous, sometimes almost more than one can bear.' ) have just "disappeared" from today’s knowledge (versus active memorised initiator). However, from the works it is not difficult to understand why after Albert Einstein studied "Holism and Evolution," soon upon its 1926 publication, he wrote that two mental constructs will direct human thinking in the next millennium, his own mental construct of relativity and Smuts' of holism. So, Einstein revered Smuts' judgment as excelling in its subtlety. Within and beyond the 'holism' construct [for Smuts was meant to solve the problem of the one/entireness and the parts/elements] it is to detect an Ancient Greek influence - more Socrates and Plato than to deny Aristotle who is often so cited. The sectional nature of the construct and its modulation from the contemplative to the virtuosic, gives us a glimpse of why Smuts was so influential over his contemporary and following generations which included both Physics scientists [beyond being great philosophers] (e.g. Albert Einstein - existential holism, David Bohm - ontological holism) and politicians [also beyond being great philosophers] (e.g. Mahatma Ghandi, Chaim Weizmann) - toward GST school.
It is to propose, here, an inquiry on a comparative subtle positioning of Jan Smuts' insight into "I" and "you" versus firstly, Ludwig von Bertalanffy's linear and/or homogeneous open (growth and isomorphic) systems and the limitations of conventional models (within reductionism, and mechanism) [which is/are acted by "I" and "you"], and secondly, versus the entire heterogeneous discourse from a long term "in-scaped" Aristotelianism on the "firmness" of the person' ("I" and "you") (more or less via Thomas Aquinas/Dun Scot) with emphasis on: Immanuel Kant, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Martin Buber, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Jacques Lacan, Jacob Levy Moreno, Stefan Odobleja - toward the entire GST school, and Cybernetics school: Norbert Wiener, Ross Ashby.
Keywords: Jan Christiaan Smuts, Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Holism and Evolution, General Systems Theory, person's fragility, subtle positioning of Jan Smuts, Aristotelianism
JEL Classification: A19, A29, B311, C59, C89, C99, D29, D59, D57, D79, D81, D83, D89, D99, I19, I29, I39, J2, J29, L39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation