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Blindness and Seeing in Systems Epistemology: Alfred Locker’s Trans-Classical Systems Theory

Abstract

Appreciating the undeniable value of General Systems Theory (GST), Alfred Locker considers the question whether or not GST is able to go beyond a mere scientific point of view. Locker’s own systems theoretical approach, Trans-Classical Systems Theory, proposes not only to include usual observations into a systems view, but likewise their theoretical presuppositions. Locker hereby creates two levels of observation; an ortho- and a meta-level, where otherwise incommensurable viewpoints are united into whole. In this way, Locker is able to articulate a holistic systems theory of seeming opposites, like, for example, creation and evolution.

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Notes

  1. The late Alfred Locker held the position of Prof. for Theoretical Physics at the Technological University of Vienna.

  2. As mentioned before, the notion of ‘organization’ refers to the totality of all systems processes. For example, the organization of living biological systems, like cells, is their ‘life’.

  3. Author’s translation: “An observer cannot see what he cannot see. He likewise cannot see, that he cannot see, what he cannot see. But there exist the possibility of correction: the observation of the observer. Yet the second order observer has likewise a blind spot, otherwise he could not observe. The blind spot, so to say, is his a priori. If he observes another observer, he can observe his blind spot, a priori and ‘latent structures.’ In doing this and thereby ploughing through the world, he too is exposed to the observation of an observer”.

  4. Author’s translation “Therefore the second order observer can know that any point of observation is a peculiar combination of blindness and seeing—as is his own—and that it is the blindness for something that opens the view of something, and that these seeing would not come about without blindness.

  5. Locker suggests capitalize the human “Self” as distinguished from a “self” or identity of a system.

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Correspondence to Markus Locker.

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This paper is continuation and deepening of Locker (2006a, b, c).

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Locker, M. Blindness and Seeing in Systems Epistemology: Alfred Locker’s Trans-Classical Systems Theory. Found Sci 22, 849–862 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10699-016-9502-y

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Keywords

  • System
  • Observer
  • Systems theory
  • System allology
  • Ganzheit