The N-Closure of the Observer
Michaela Pichlbauer and Siegfried Rosner (eds.), Systemdynamik und Systemethik: Gibt es eine Verantwortung für soziale Systeme? München: Hampp, 2008, pp. 44-52
9 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2013 Last revised: 16 Jan 2013
Date Written: April 25, 2008
An important argument with respect to social systems theory asks whether it necessarily is bound with two-valued, or binary, distinctions. Even if social systems theory is only assuming binary distinctions to rule the reproduction of functional subsystems of society, not letting its theory architecture being dominated by binary logic, we attempt to deal with this argument by showing a way how an observer may be modeled within a Spencer-Brown-expression as a multi-valued eigen-value of a recursive and non-linear function describing the reproduction of indication and distinction. We take observation to be an operation, which reproduces an observer. The observer exhibits all features of a system since in order to observe it must be able to produce and reproduce itself within an environment. There is cognition and volition inherent in any observation, that is, when observing, the observer, in what Gotthard Günther calls a "proemial relation", orders and exchanges the indications which it uses to bring its world forth by indicating and thereby distinguishing it. We here remain abstract with respect to the materiality of the observer. We certainly think of mental as well as of social, living, and artificial observers, that is we take as its possible domains consciousness, society, life, and machines. Yet, more importantly, we take observation to be a distributed, or disseminated, activity, which refers as much to an agency bringing it forth as to some environmental variables it is triggered by.
Keywords: Binary Logic, distinction, mark, meaning, Multi-Valued Logic, observer, world
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