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Additional resources for A Guide to Systems Research: Philosophy, Processes and Practice
In human and social systems there is the question of goals, plans, designs, and many aspects of a conscious mind. These concepts are not integrated as each postulates nonlocal contextual domains. Throughout the history of science and humanity, philosophers have considered the idea of such a domain in terms of aether or plenum (Greek and Latin terms for the substance of space itself), Kant’s noumenon (as potential for phenomenon9), and even various kinds of “fifth-essence” unity. In Indian Vedic philosophy it is known as akasa, which is like a natural memory of phenomena associated with an informational existence, sometimes called “nonexistence” that together with “existence” makes a whole.
The questions posed in the previous section challenge the systems-oriented researcher to consider the possible implications of their research in relation to the purposes of both the purposeful parts of the system, as well as the purposes of the larger system. This latter concern is equally relevant in nonhuman systems. Engaging the question of purpose illuminates some key principles of a systemic ethic. Recognizing the embeddedness of both research and researcher in a larger social and ecological context, it is important to understand the possible ramifications of the research project in the larger system.
It is for that reason that we note how extensively this causal structure appears to be empirically confirmed in many disciplines and cases, each with its own interpretation of the archetypical quadrants and their combinations as categories of entailment and relation. We will review the worldview implications and some examples of the framework in use. PAR Holon Framework The first, and perhaps most important, framework we should examine is used in PAR (Chapter 5). The relational framework represents a theory of natural causation, while PAR is an empirically derived practice that works the same way through human agency.