General Epistemology of Open Systems

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)


Three basic rules (derived from the axioms outlined in Chap.  1) are outlined:
  1. 1.

    All human psychological processes unfold in irreversible time (the rule of time).

  2. 2.

    All human psychological processes—while being based on the unity of the body and the psyche—are being generated in relation with the environment (the rule of the open systems).

  3. 3.

    All human psychological processes are generated with the guidance of teleogenetic constructions by the person in coordination with social expectations (the rule of goal orientations).


These three rules set stringent constraints upon methodology. While the rule of time lets psychological processes share common ground with nonequilibrium thermodynamics (Prigogine 1977), the rule of open systems guarantees unity or psychology with all biological systems. Finally, the rule of goal orientations outlines the specifically human aspect of the psychological processes that involve constant preadaptation by the person toward the not-yet-knowable future. It is here where imagination, affect, and reasoning converge. The chapter includes discussions of the meaning of the data.


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication and PsychologyAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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