By José María Díaz Nafría (University of León, Spain; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany)
It is the purpose of this contribution arguing that emergence, on the one hand, exists as something new in nature; on the other hand, that it is something transcending classical computation. To this end, it is suggested a careful generalization of the concept of agency, proposed by Stuart Kauffman as system able to perform at least one thermodynamic work cycle, throughout all the levels of complexity – from pre‐geometry to social contexts –. We set off from the level of pre‐geometry (described in terms of spin networks in the sense of Roger Penrose) leading up to social systems. At this higher level, we deal with agents who have self‐reflection and try to reconstruct objects and situations from essentially limited information. To that purpose hermeneutical agency is introduced, in which the cycles defined by observation‐representation can be seen in thermodynamic terms, and is the goal for such agent the reduction of the complexity of the related representation, generally linked to some pragmatic situation. At this level, innovation can be visualized, in the best case, as emergence in social contexts. But in order to move throughout all the latter of complexity, we propose as unifying principle that the pair energy‐matter can be regarded alongside the pair information‐structure (representing such bipolarity the difference and relation between potentiality and actuality). Whereas energy is conceptualized as potentiality to perform work (change), we claim that information can be visualized – from the outset – as potentiality to utilize such work in benefit of the organization of the system, being structure the actualization of such organization potential represented by information. Since the beneficial use of work is fundamental for defining agency, this general understanding of information facilitate the task of properly extending the concept of agency to the whole hierarchy of complexity and to visualize agents as playing natural games at the different levels. Using such viewpoint we shall map, on the one hand, agency dynamics through game theoretical applications; on the other hand, evolutionary system dynamics through mathematical category theory.
- Access to the presentation at the European Meeting on Cybernetics and System Research (EMCS-2012) held in Vienna, 10-14 April 2012.
- Access to the corresponding abstract of the contribution to the EMCS-2012.