A General System Weltanshaaung (Worldview)


Worldview theory constituted 30 years ago the central focus and general orientation of “my anthropology” (my formal anthropological studies, research and theoretical development.) Little did I realize at that time the deep connection of what was called “the Worldview Problem” (a la Wilhelm von Humboldt) to System theory in general, and what can be legitimately called “General System Theory” (a la Ludwig von Bertalanffy.)

That connection did not become clear to me until a few years later when I found myself caught and temporarily suspended in the depths of interior China. It was something of a spiritual, if not religious, epiphany. Upon our return from China (a one way event) I devoted the next decade or so to the elaboration of General System Theory. From this, I have had the good fortune of applying my anthropological background to human systems theory and human events in real time.

Now, somewhat belatedly, and little the richer for it except perhaps in intellectual and ego-spiritual growth, I feel I’ve come to a juncture of age in my senior years that I can take a look back and try to assess this development, growth, maturation of intellect and knowledge in contemporary context.

This forum nor its connected forums are perhaps not the best frameworks for representing and presenting these ideas, except perhaps this “bloggishing” forum provides a way of experimenting and exploring alternative styles of textual publication connected metalogically more or less with the ideas, concepts and worldview being developed thus.

Though de facto applied systems inform all that we do as technologically civilized creatures of nature, we nearly universally eschew and under-appreciate the theoretical and hypothetical roles that systems may play in the development of our thinking about the world as well as our choices of acting in the world.

The intellectual disparagement of general systems frameworks (much less the General System Theory framework as scientific worldview) bespeaks in large measure the Kuhnian perspective of alternative, competing scientific and meta-scientific paradigms of understanding and comprehension (leading to explanation and logical analysis.)

I would disagree with Einstein in making the following statement: God probably did play dice with the universe (and thus by logical extension there may be Infinite Gods rolling the die across Infinite Universes.) I do not thereby mean or intend or imply the berating or disparagement of “Cosmic Religious Consciousness” that encompasses and provides our most basic scientific motivations and methods.

There is a surprising, miraculously astounding, natural order upon all levels of our natural world in its stochastic organization and complex, chaotic functioning. To approach this problem by specialization within Aristotelian-ordered scientific disciplines does not preclude the possibility of systematically approaching the problem.

Hence, the potential significance of General System Theory (not as an alternative to scientific worldview) but as an important complement and meta-logical framework for our scientific understanding.) At the core of our scientific methods (and the Scientific Method as the core methodology of all science) is the systematic approach to problem solving, empirically falsifiable, that is the basis of General System worldview.

That our received sciences are “analyzing” and primarily analytic in method and methodologies does not thereby preclude the complementary requirement of systems synthesis of empirically-based information and knowledge for the outlining of coherent models of non-linear systems development.

With the contemporary and rapid advent of Global A.I. singularity, we are perhaps arrived upon the edge of our future world with the as yet unrecognized requirement to make greater sense and understanding of the systems, both natural and artificial, that are now coming to increasingly define and dictate the outcomes of our continuing “systems blind” and “blind systems” approach to the development of human civilization upon and beyond the earth.