Open and closed systems in social science | Wikipedia audio article



Ludvig bertalanffy describes two types of systems open systems and closed systems the open systems are systems that allow interactions between their internal elements and the environment an open system is defined as a system in exchange of matter with its environment presenting import and export building up and breaking down of its material components closed systems on the other hand are held to be isolated from their environment equilibrium thermodynamics for example is a field of study that applies to closed systems the idea of open systems was further developed in Systems Theory topic social science in social sciences schematically if there is an interaction or feedback loop between ideal and material or subjective and objective then the system is an open system otherwise it is a closed system a closed system offers a deterministic relationship Rene Descartes view of a Cartesian subject as a determining agent detached from nature is a closed system Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel view of the world that the idea determines the being is another example of a closed system Raymond Williams open-ended approach and pierre bourdieu's theory of practice suggests non deterministic relationships and are thus open systems schematically closed systems are the sphere of being identity Theory molar information normal and past open systems offer becoming difference practice molecular noise pathological and present in short Systems Theory in social sciences is basically closing the gap between phenomenology and structuralism and instead searching for embedded hermeneutics in which the subject is not cut off from a society but weaved in a social context once the Cartesian subject who imposed mental concepts on reality is flattened out then the task is how to actualize materiality one possible way of describing the non subject centered view of the world is through the organization according to gregory bateson relationship could be used as basis for definition that is instead of signifying things under the blanket terms the things should be described the way it is organized in a complex relationship in other words materiality should not be represented by us but through us in social science the network approach has been increasingly becoming popular to undertake such kind of non representational framework it flattens out the representational systems that have become deterministic the interconnection automatically reveals spaces that are left unconnected or silenced under the abstract machine of signifiers the study produced with this connection is a mere description of a complexity that is characteristic of a society there is no politics involved in this politics implies categories and naming which according to Bateson is always classifying and thus reducing complexity of organization the organization of living things depends upon circular and more complex chains of determination the interconnection of things thus becomes a new way of understanding the reality Walter Benjamin's montage Jill de Luz and Felix quarries assemblage and Humberto Maturana Zotto poesis suggests that things should not be seen in terms of their functionality or physical properties but rather the relationship circularity or networks serve as a general criteria for the knowledge the SA surveys various disciplines to demonstrate the ways in which the idea of difference or becoming has post challenges against given conceptual categories within their respective fields topic anthropology although anthropology has been somewhat successful in displacing the modern subject from the center by observing various other institutions such as gift exchange and kinship it continues to struggle with developing the open systems in anthropology the open system raises the question of how to represent a native point of view the idea behind the ethnographic writing is to understand a complexity of an everyday life of the people without undermining or reducing the native account historically ethnographers insert raw data collected in the fieldwork into the writing machine the output is usually the neat categories of ethnicity identity classes kinship genealogy religion culture violence and numerous other the Systems Theory however challenges among other fields the ethnographic writing that is usually focused on representing the other anthropologist Gregory Bateson is the most influential and earliest founder of the system theory in social sciences Bates and describes system as any unit containing feedback structure and therefore competent to process information thus an open system allows interaction between concepts and materiality or subject and the environment or abstract and real in Natural Science Systems Theory has been widely used approach Bateson's work influenced major post-structuralist scholars especially gil de luz and felix guattari in fact the very word plateau in Deleuze and Guattari x' magnum Opus a thousand plateaus came from Bateson's work on Balinese culture they wrote Gregory Bateson uses the word plateau to designate something very special a continuous self vibrating region of intensities whose development avoids any orientation toward a culmination point or external end Bateson pioneered an interdisciplinary approach in anthropology he coined the term ecology of mind to demonstrate that what goes on in one's head and in one's behavior is interlocked and constitutes and network guattari wrote Gregory Bateson has clearly shown that what he calls the ecology of ideas cannot be contained within the domain of the psychology of the individual but organizes itself into systems or minds the boundaries of which no longer coincide with the participant individuals with the posthumanist turn however the art of ethnographic writing has suffered serious challenges anthropologists are now thinking of experimenting with a new style of writing for instance writing with natives or multiple authorship it also undermines the discipline of identity politics and post colonialism post-colonial scholars claims of subaltern identity or indigeneity and the demand of liberal rights from a state is actually falling back into the same signifying Western myth of EDA pool complex of ego and the it instead of looking for a non unitary subject in multiplicities organized into assemblage and montage post-colonial studies limit flows into the same West in category of identity thus undermining the networks that sustain people's everyday lives Deleuze and Guattari x' rhizomatic and Benjamin's montage dismantle the top-down and hierarchical social reality and bring into attention the micro politics of mapping multiplicities of networks and assembly jizz topic linguistics one can also trace open and closed systems in linguistics the two most obvious examples are of Ferdinand de Saussure and Valentin voloshyn of socio in seeking to discover universal laws of language formulated a general science of linguistics by bifurcating language into lang abstract system of language and parole utterance or speech the phonemes fundamental unit of sound are the basic structure of a language the linguistic community gives a social dimension to a language moreover linguistic signs are arbitrary and change only comes with time and not by individual wool the distinction of language between Lang and parole without any feedback loop demonstrates that a language is a closed system valla seen of rejects abstract objectivism perpetuated by the language distinction between lang and parole he also rejected the Cartesian notion of language as a mere manifestation of pure subjectivity in fact he dissolved the dichotomy of objectivity language as external an independent of human consciousness and subjectivity language as a cognitive activity the dissolution was to put the becoming of language in a practice of utterance in other words the language only comes to existence when uttered not intentionally but in a practice of everyday life the meaning of language also comes into being in a particular context thus putting language in its ideological millyar this is vollis e nerves most important theoretical intervention in rendering language and ideologically Laden mechanism since humans are social the linguistic utterance also embodies power relations vallah scene of further rights on philology as a finished monologic utterance the ancient written monument this illustrates how ideology is concealed in texts such as dictionaries that list words free of their particular contexts thus moving away from socio static being to the idea of becoming topic history in the discipline of history there have also been critical debates of how to represent past in its complexity without undermining the differences that is what are the ways in which history writing could be written as an open system walter benjamin's theses on the philosophy of history perhaps could be referred as one of the earliest radical explorations in the idea of the past and representation benjamin differentiates between historicism as a discipline that views past and present as separate from each other and temporality as a homogenous empty time moving in a linear fashion in search for an objective truth this detached view of the history makes historian amassed a signifier who imposes concepts on to the materiality of the process historicism is thus a history of silences historical materialism on the other hand is the history of the present that is past and present are not detached from each other but constitutes a single interrupting and nonlinear temporality history is the object of a construction whose place is formed not in homogenous and empty time but in that which is fulfilled by the here-and-now jets sight writing history of present that is now here releases differences and multiplicities from the clutches of historical categories that impose silence the now time serves as a new temporalities n tation of the present with the postmodernist turn history writing has been suffering challenges of how to recover those silences marginalized under the systems of representation or historicism put simply what are the ways the history of differences could be written that would rupture the official history German historian Reinhardt Kosilek based his argument on social and conceptual history the social history belongs to a history of the present whereas conceptual history is the history of ideas or representations subaltern studies historian de peche Chakrabarti named the conceptual and social history as history one and history two anthropologist Mitchell Rolf true.you referred him as historicity 1 and historicity 2 and urges for a history of the present Hayden White's idea of employment as narrative form demonstrates a new radical move towards history writing that collapses the traditional historical tropes topic philosophy the debate in philosophy is grounded in terms such as abstract and real to put simply the question in philosophy could be written as how to get to reality without deploying the given abstract concepts in contemporary philosophy de luces philosophy of becoming is currently a popular version according to Deleuze and Guattari becoming is a verb with a consistency all its own it does not reduce to or lead back to appearing quote quote being quote quote equalizing or producing quote quote the becoming disrupts the imagination of the Western thought organized in an arboreal into a rhizomatic nature of Hecky at ease a rhizome may be broken shattered at a given spot but it will start up again on one its old lines or new lines in the normal and the pathological George can Gilliam demonstrates the ways in which the concept of norm emerged as a reference point for organizing or more precisely normalizing differences into a normal order necessary for a general functioning of a liberal society a norm offers itself as a possible mode of unifying diversity resolving a difference settling a disagreement the norm thus became the abstract Universal signifier and the normal as a signified and what escapes the normal is considered pathological in fact the existence of pathological becomes the necessary condition for the normal by interconnecting the idea of nor with institutions of Technology economic and juridical can Gilliam grounds the concept of norm into the materiality of social and shows that normal is not a natural given but rather it is the product of nor mayshen drawing on kin golems work Fuko develops the notion of biopolitics as an open system that is a process free of deterministic relationship biopolitics can be described as when the basic biological features of the human species became the object of a political strategy of a general strategy of power the bio politics becomes the governmental reason of modern society which Foucault referred as security society the individualizing technique of the care of the self in the Disciplinary society and the totalizing technique of the management of the population through apparatuses of security is called government allottee the governmental apparatus is of security produce optimum risk or danger which subjective eyes individuals in terms of the care of the self and at the same time manage the population insurance technologies as an apparatus of security for instance use a calculus of probabilities that transform everything into risk but most importantly it keeper type of criminality theft for instance within socially and economically acceptable limits and around an average that will be considered as optimal for a given social functioning thus there are two streams of thought in fucose work the earlier work relates to disciplining or individualizing of the body through the police state the later thought develops around the notion of biopolitics as a totalizing technique that targets the biological given of the population through the apparatus of security these two techniques individualizing totalizing micro physics macro fizzy care of the self management of the population are the two modalities of power that function in a non deterministic relationship it is a model different from lui offices idea of ideological State apparatuses as structure of dominance and hegemony functioning in a top-down manner in fucose work there is no top-down and bottom-up approach in security territory population Foucault developed the idea of miliar as a system consist of natural river water earth and artificial given Institute's norms discourses the miliar is an idea similar to Vinod skis biosphere as a realm of living the biosphere or Millia has also been going through the process of social engineering Foucault particularly focuses on space and demonstrates the ways in which urban forms have been subjected to discipline and regulation to enhance circulation it seems that Foucault was moving towards the direction of bridging the gap between the nature and culture by proposing the idea of Amelia this collapsing of given spaces also signifies that merely unpacking or decentering the cartesian subject will not be enough in fact the miller or biosphere requires careful collapsing into multiplicities in general each discipline needs networking with materiality topic sociology german theorist Niklas Luhmann develops a Systems Theory approach to society and demonstrates the ways in which systems work only in relation with their environment drawing on Humberto Maturana and Francis Varela's idea of otto po sa sand Hegelian dialectics lumen argues that systems are self referential autopoietic systems that is they produce and reproduce their organization without getting input from a Cartesian subject and systems maintain their distinction from the environment by the unity of the difference by doing that he displaces the modern subject as a point of reference and instead places communication as the index schematically a system represents a conceptual realm a meaningful world a place of identity past an actuality whereas environment signifies noise meaninglessness difference future and possibilities lumens social systems are closed systems except when the system needs information from the environment thus it is up to the system to select the meaninglessness or noise from the environment and encode it into a meaningful complex in the system although lumen maintains the unity of the difference of the system and environment the closing of the system does not allow innovation or rupture in the order in fact the encoding of information in the system reduces complexity of the environment French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu challenges the same duality of phenomenology subjective and structuralism objective through his theory of practice this idea precisely challenges the reductive approach of economies immed at places symbolic interest in opposition to economic interests similarly it also rejects subjected centered view of the world Bourdieu attempts to close this gap by developing the concept of habitus a system of durable transpose ax build is positions in this system agent is not a conscious subject but the schemes of thought and expression he has acquired of the basis for the intention 'less invention of regulated improvisation symbolic capital for instance a prestige as readily convertible back into economic capital and hence is the most valuable form of accumulation therefore economic and symbolic both work together and should be studied as a general science of the economy of practices unlike pierre bourdieu who provides a general theory of practice that regulates subjective phenomenology and objective structuralism or in lumens terms systems and environment together in an open system lumen develops a closed system only letting the systems select its information from the environment the more radical approach of Deleuze and Guattari completely collapses fig alien dialectics by actualizing the materiality of the de territory alized environment over on the territory alized systems bruno latour develops the open system by flattening out the discipline of sociology ingrained in phenomenological tradition into multiplicities embedded in the society the decentering of a Cartesian subject from the center of the universe open new spaces that were left unconnected by classical sociological tradition Latour vast suggests an actor network theory to bridge the gap between the nature and culture he rejects theoretical or conceptual models in fact he disliked the fact that the description of anything has to fit in some kind of a framework theory for Latour is a mental projection of a modern subject which reduced the materiality of things into neat categories of groups and identities which more precisely violates the polymorphous nature of society the network thus emerges as a new transcendental ego or what Humberto Maturana called a networked theology Jurgen Habermas brings the intersubjective scented view of the world he develops a communicative theory as a closed system that is there exists a consensus which could only be validated by the communication among individuals it gives primacy to a certain group of people who have access to a public space and who could communicate in a dominant language of a given context there is no interaction between the speech act and the consensus thus Habermas communication theory is a consensus driven closed system it is the attempt to rescue the Enlightenment project embedded in logo centrism topic see also Systems Theory complex systems systems science system ography social systems systems theory in anthropology




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