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Monday, July 10


3020 Liminal Consciousness - A Systemic Theory for 'Altered States of Consciousness'
Academic psychology focuses mainly on research regarding rational consciousness, while other forms of consciousness are first and foremost marginalized as ‘altered states of consciousness’. The indication of ‘altered states of consciousness’ consistently reproduces: firstly the positing of rational consciousness as a primal given; secondly the fixation on a (consciousness)process as a state; thirdly the mistake, to characterize something as ‘altered’ which is defined by constant alteration; fourthly a dichotomization of ‘normal’ and ‘altered’, which conceals the ongoing reproduction of rational consciousness; and fifthly the suggestion that non-rational consciousness is epistemically inferior, illegitimate and deviant. This paper aims to make a contribution to solving those problems, by focusing central aspects of autopoietic systems theory and the fundamental term liminality, which are then combined to a new theory of non-rational consciousness. In this paper the term ‘liminal consciousness’ is used, which refers to forms of a psychic system that are less focused on points of reference, rather they converge to the limit of (temporary) omission of its autopoiesis. This concept is not thought of as a dichotomous category, but rather as a continuously increasing omission of the reproduction of self-referential structures. Three basic possibilities are identified, which can lead to liminal consciousness: a focus on self-reference, a focus on external-reference, or a short-circuit of concentration by focusing on the occurrence of thoughts. Within this framework many forms of consciousness, e.g. those ‘invited’ by ecstatic or meditative practice, can be conceptualized, without relying on religious, reductionist or mystic terms. This paper recommends the use of the term ‘liminal consciousness’ over ‘altered states of consciousness’, to improve the connectivity of communication within the scientific system.

Monday July 10, 2017 16:00 - 16:30


3066 What Drives the Systems? From Conatus to Dynamics: Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Kant
I will highlight the concepts of conatus and dynamics in Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Kant. These philosophers’ ideas are sometimes referred to as precursors of modern systems theories, or cybernetics.

First, I will analyse the idea of conatus in Hobbes’s theory, comparing it with those of Descartes and Spinoza. For Hobbes, conatus is motion through the length of a point and a small beginning, which causes interaction between matter. All natural and social systems then begin to move automatically. Conatus is thus just a trigger of motion.

After I discuss the transition from the notion of conatus to that of dynamics in Leibniz’s thought, I will illuminate Kant’s in both his pre-Critical and mature philosophical works. His idea is that the soul has a dynamical relation with the body, making it the prime power to move the body. Kant then examines the phenomena of the world from this viewpoint of dynamical interrelation. Thus, it lies behind the systems of recognition, which is formed simultaneously with the natural and social systems, according to Kant’s philosophy.

The interaction between elements in systems is essential to modern complex systems theory. I would like to say that these philosophers, especially Hobbes and Kant, are pioneers of complex systems theory.

Monday July 10, 2017 16:30 - 17:00


3080 The Structure of Reality: An Emergent Hierarchy of Autonomous Levels?
This paper starts with a question: is the structure of reality a hierarchy of autonomous levels emerging from the increasing complexity of matter through evolution? I will critique this deeply held conviction in the field of systems thinking, and I will argue that a different world-image is possible. Indeed, I will suggest that my alternative world-image is a more accurate depiction of the structure of the universe. My argument will be unfolded in four parts. First, I will claim that the forerunners of the idea of emergent levels can be found in the British emergentist movement of the 1920s (Alexander 1920; Morgan 1923). Second, I will argue that the idea of hierarchical levels first enterer the biological world in the early 1930s (via the work of von Bertalanffy 1928 [1933]) and was later in the 1950s extended to the rest of the cosmos (Bertalanffy 1949 [1953]; Boulding 1956). Third, that the ideas of a ‘hierarchical order’ and ‘general systemology’ could have been suggested to Bertalanffy by Hartmann’s early “theory of categories” (1923, 1926). Fourth, I will introduce Hartmann’s “theory of fundamental categories” (1940), which is devoted to the structure of reality. Finally, in contrast to these ideas, I will argue for a structure of the universe that is not constituted by an emergent hierarchy of autonomous levels at all.

Monday July 10, 2017 17:00 - 17:30
Thursday, July 13


3156 The Construction of Sustainability: Study on Production of Knowledge in Social Ecological Systems
One of possible approaches to construct sustainable social ecological systems(SES) is that we can understand the complexity of sustainable development of SES and then control the dominated function of key slow variable. The Knowledge production model, as one of key slow variable, has dominated other variables of SES. Its sustainable evolution is the important part of construction of SES. The fundamental dilemma for Logic-Experiment Model of knowledge production is that this model has failed to deal with the complexity of SES and create sustainable knowledge. While the Construct-Action Model of knowledge production has promoted the emerge of intersection of SES evolution and holistic knowledge innovation in critical state. Moreover, this model can help SES to withstand interference and create sustainable knowledge. In Construct-Action Model, the construction of sustainability emerges from the process of iterative feedback between actor level and observer level, and this has provided a structural narrative framework for the possible development of SES.

Thursday July 13, 2017 16:00 - 16:30


3157 Constructivist View of System in System Dynamics
System dynamics is an important systems methodology for analysing the complexity of the world, and the system dynamics school is one of the most influential schools of complexity research. Systems thinking based on holism has become an important mode of thinking for human beings to explore the complex world. It has provided an important methodological foundation for system dynamics. Systems thinking aims at analysing the complex system structure and adopting intervention measures from the whole, interrelated and macroscopic perspectives. Since its establishment, system dynamics has been perfected in theory, method and tool, and has achieved great success in solving complex problems in the fields of society, management, economy, ecology and so on. As an important systems theory and systems management methodology, the generation and development process of system dynamics contains rich systems holistic thought which is based on constructivist view of system.

Firstly, the generation of system dynamics inherits the definition of system in general system theory. For example, Bertalanffy tried to form a common general law of different systems from the biological and human problems. The Cybernetics proposed by Wiener, especially the feedback concept plays a very important role in system dynamics. The combination of information and feedback becomes the key of system dynamics to deal with complex problems. Secondly, one of the most important contributions of system dynamics is that it has changed people's views on system definition and system concept. Different from the traditional concept of entity system, system dynamics holds that the system is constructivist. It means that a system is a collection of variables but not entities. This systematic view of constructivism is a view of the integration of the subject and the object. Thirdly, the systematic view of constructivism has an important connection with Holon, and it has a great methodological significance in the management of complex systems. For example, Checkland’s soft system methodology tried to overcome the shortcomings of hard system methods such as operations research, system analysis, system engineering, etc. In particular, he advocated the use of holon in management. The soft system methodology can supplement the methodology of system dynamics.

Thursday July 13, 2017 16:30 - 17:00


3207 From Certainty to Wisdom: The Contribution of Dynamic and Integrative Epistemology to Systemic Leadership
There is a “thinking and doing dichotomy” that assumes that chronologically we should think before we act. This dichotomy reduces human cognitive processes to their intellectual dimension assuming a superiority of reason over emotions. This dichotomy is rooted well-entrenched epistemological assumptions such as the assumption that the aim of the process of human knowing is to achieve accurate representation of the world leading to “a form of deductive knowledge that contained a degree of certainty unaffected by convictions, expectations, or passions” (Prigogine & Stengers, 1984This degree of certainty matches the Cartesian requirement that knowledge must be indubitable, infallible and incorrigible.

Dynamic and integrative epistemology overcomes the thinking and doing dichotomy by acknowledging that knowing is most and first of all an activity of the knower. Secondly, knowing does not aim at making accurate representations of reality (clear and distinct ideas) but at accumulating insights through information processing. Information processing is defined as enriching immediate data of experience with value and meaning for the purpose of decision-making and problem-solving. Knowing as information processing occurs at four levels of consciousness, namely, the emotional (pathos), the intellectual (logos), evaluative (ethos) and the active (praxis). These four levels of consciousness imply four different possible outcomes of the process of human knowing. Experiencing generates data or representations, understanding generates meaning, evaluating creates value while acting leads to achievement of practical goals. Furthermore, knowing involves whole organisms and not isolated minds, hence rationality and intelligence can be extended to artifacts such as economic systems, social institutions and non-human experts such as electronic expert systems. In this context, leadership in an information-rich has to be based on wisdom rather than on certainty.

Defining human knowing as accumulating insights through information processing implies challenging in an unprecedented way assumptions that normative epistemology inherited from modern science and its attempts to model all of human knowing on the physical sciences. The three facts of information i.e. being, behaving and becoming, show striking similarities with Lonergan’s process of human knowing in way that defining knowing as information processing implies an assimilation of the two frameworks. All in all, knowing as information processing implies that, as Simon (1971) has pointed out: “in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.”

These skills are not isolated acts but attitudes that shape the process of knowing despite its dynamic and integrative nature. Lonergan (1990) has called these skills transcendental precepts. For him: “progress proceeds from originating value, from subjects being their true selves by observing the transcendental precepts, Be attentive, Be Intelligent, Be reasonable, Be responsible. Being attentive includes attention to human affairs. Being intelligent includes a grasping of hitherto unnoticed or unrealized possibilities. Being reasonable includes rejection of what probably would not work but also acknowledgement of what probably would. Being responsible includes basing one’s decisions and choices on an unbiased evaluation of short-term and long-term costs and benefits to oneself, to one’s groups, to other groups.”

Thursday July 13, 2017 17:00 - 17:30


3139 System-Purpose Method: Theoretical and Practical Aspects
This article observes methodological aspects of conflict-contractual theory of social systems. System-purpose method is formulated and determined in frame of the theory and presented in this article

Thursday July 13, 2017 17:30 - 18:00