Warfield’s concern in A Science of Generic Design (1994) is the management and design of large-scale systems. In his preface, he says,
For better or worse, our society has accepted the idea of large and complex systems. If we are going to have them, it behooves us to learn how to manage them. An excellent route to doing so is to learn how to design them (p. xxiii).
Large, complex systems present numerous difficulties to that overwhelm designers’ abilities to design ad hoc. They call for a generic science of design that integrates the most important elements of universal knowledge with the knowledge that designers have thus far amassed.
Warfield lays a solid base for generic design science and articulates its ramifications in the straightforward manner of cybernetic circuitry. He explores first the bases of science in the pragmaticist manner of C. S. Peirce. In so doing, he incorporates elements that are usually omitted from the philosophy of science and integrates them into an embodied theory of science. In a peripheral way, he indicates how his design of science is more adequate than conventional conceptions.
He defines the roles of formal object language and natural metalanguage. He develops relational descriptions of qualitative reality and incorporates them into a non-numerical mathematics of dimensions. He integrates this qualitative mathematics with universal priors to create the science of generic design.
KeywordsTriad Arena Metaphor Prose
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