InterJournal Complex Systems, 453 Status: Accepted |
Manuscript Number: [453] Submission Date: 1121 |
Social Constraints and Cybernetic Explanations |
Subject(s): CX.43, CX.46, CX.16, CX.19, CX.13
Category: Article
Abstract:
The analysis of social systems can often be done in the following way: we construct a "pure" system and analyze the space of possibilities which are open to the system. By introducing "constraints" to the pure system we approximate our model’s behavior to the behavior of some real social system we wish to investigate. Therefore the starting point of the analysis of social systems by means of computer simulation is not the simulation of one particular system but the investigation of the mathematically possible development of specific classes of model systems (pure systems). As these pure systems usually generate a lot more different paths of development than are known from real human history we have to limit these possibilities by introducing social constraints which are known from social reality. The sociologically interesting question is then why these constraints appeared in reality. Therefore the introduction of constraints is both a methodical tool to limit the mathematical possibilities and a way to make the models valid for the mapping of social reality. This particular procedure is aptly described by Bateson with the concept of "cybernetic explanation".
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