Portrait of a Scientific Revolution

  • Wolfgang Krohn
  • Günter Küppers
  • Helga Nowotny

Part of the Sociology of the Sciences book series (SOSC, volume 14)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Selforganization — the Convergence of Ideas An Introduction

    1. Wolfgang Krohn, Günter Küppers, Helga Nowotny
      Pages 1-10
  3. Epistemological Foundations

  4. Selfreference and Selfregulation in Social Systems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 86-86
    2. Peter M. Hejl
      Pages 114-127
    3. Siegfried J. Schmidt
      Pages 143-153
    4. Christopher S. Braider
      Pages 154-168
  5. The Appearance of Structure

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 169-169
    2. Michael Heidelberger
      Pages 170-180
    3. Michael Stadler, Peter Kruse
      Pages 181-193
  6. The Selforganization of Science

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 255-271

About this book


may be complex without being able to be replaced by something »still more simple«. This became evident with the help of computer models of deterministic-recursive systems in which simple mathematical equation systems provide an extremely complex behavior. (2) Irregularity of nature is not treated as an anomaly but becomes the focus of research and thus is declared to be normal. One looks for regularity within irregularity. Non-equilibrium processes are recognized as the source of order and the search for equilibrium is replaced by the search for the dynamics of processes. (3) The classical system-environment model, according to which the adaptation of a system to its environment is controlled externally and according to which the adaptation of the system occurs in the course of a learning process, is replaced by a model of systemic closure. This closure is operational in so far as the effects produced by the system are the causes for the maintenance of systemic organization. If there is sufficient complexity, the systems perform internal self-observation and exert self-control (»Cognition« as understood by Maturana as self-perception and self-limitation, e. g. , that of a cell vis-a. -vis its environment). 22 But any information a system provides on its environment is a system-internal construct. The »reference to the other« is merely a special case of »self-reference«. The social sciences frequently have suffered from the careless way in which scientific ideas and models have been transferred.


Evolution Nation epistemology system systems theory

Editors and affiliations

  • Wolfgang Krohn
    • 1
  • Günter Küppers
    • 1
  • Helga Nowotny
    • 2
  1. 1.University of BielefeldGermany
  2. 2.University of ViennaAustria

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1990
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-4073-2
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-2975-8
  • Series Print ISSN 0167-2320
  • Buy this book on publisher's site