Emergent Design: Explorations in Systems Phenomenology in Relation to Ontology, Hermeneutics and the Meta-Dialectics of Design

683 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2017

Date Written: December 17, 2009


A Phenomenological Analysis of Emergent Design is performed based on the foundations of General Schemas Theory. The concept of Sign Engineering is explored in terms of Hermeneutics, Dialectics, and Ontology in order to define Emergent Systems and Metasystems Engineering based on the concept of Meta-dialectics.

Phenomenology, Ontology, Hermeneutics, and Dialectics will dominate our inquiry into the nature of the Emergent Design of the System and its inverse dual, the Meta-system. This is an speculative dissertation that attempts to produce a philosophical, mathematical, and theoretical view of the nature of Systems Engineering Design. Emergent System Design, i.e., the design of yet unheard of and/or hitherto non-existent Systems and Metasystems is the focus. This study is a frontal assault on the hard problem of explaining how Engineering produces new things, rather than a repetition or reordering of concepts that already exist. In this work the philosophies of E. Husserl, A. Gurwitsch, M. Heidegger, J. Derrida, G. Deleuze, A. Badiou, G. Hegel, I. Kant and other Continental Philosophers are brought to bear on different aspects of how new technological systems come into existence through the midwifery of Systems Engineering. Sign Engineering is singled out as the most important aspect of Systems Engineering. We will build on the work of Pieter Wisse and extend his theory of Sign Engineering to define Meta-dialectics in the form of Quadralectics1 and then Pentalectics2. Along the way the various ontological levels of Being are explored in conjunction with the discovery that the Quadralectic is related to the possibility of design primarily at the Third Meta-level of Being, called Hyper Being. Design Process is dependent upon the emergent possibilities that appear in Hyper Being. Hyper Being, termed by Heidegger as Being (Being crossed-out) and termed by Derrida as Differance, also appears as the widest space within the Design Field at the third meta-level of Being and therefore provides the most leverage that is needed to produce emergent effects. Hyper Being is where possibilities appear within our worldview. Possibility is necessary for emergent events to occur. Hyper Being possibilities are extended by Wild Being propensities to allow the embodiment of new things. We discuss how this philosophical background relates to meta-methods such as the Gurevich Abstract State Machine and the Wisse Metapattern methods, as well as real-time architectural design methods as described in the Integral Software Engineering Methodology3. One aim of this research is to find the foundation for extending the ISEM methodology to become a general purpose Systems Design Methodology. Our purpose is also to bring these philosophical considerations into the practical realm by examining P. Bourdieu’s ideas on the relationship between theoretical and practical reason and M. de Certeau’s ideas on practice. The relationship between design and implementation is seen in terms of the Set/Mass conceptual opposition. General Schemas Theory is used as a way of critiquing the dependence of Set based mathematics as a basis for Design. The dissertation delineates a new foundation for Systems Engineering as Emergent Engineering based on General Schemas Theory, and provides an advanced theory of Design based on the understanding of the meta-levels of Being, particularly focusing upon the relationship between Hyper Being and Wild Being in the context of Pure and Process Being.

Keywords: Systems Engineering, Software Engineering, Design, Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Ontology, Dialectics, Philosophy, Design Theory, Schemas Theory, Systems Theory,

Suggested Citation

Palmer, Kent D., Emergent Design: Explorations in Systems Phenomenology in Relation to Ontology, Hermeneutics and the Meta-Dialectics of Design (December 17, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1477214 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1477214

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