He did not believe that forecasting or science could be neutral. The book deals with self-organization as a unifying evolutionary paradigm that incorporates cosmology , biology , sociology , psychology , and consciousness. Jantsch is inspired by and draws on the work of Ilya Prigogine concerning dissipative structures and nonequilibrium states. Reception[ edit ] Jantsch was described as "quiet and modest", but as an "original polymath and genius" by Ralph H. Abraham in "The Genesis of Complexity". This makes us realize again the harsh and brutal conditions of life some of the innovators must endure.
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With many thanks to Leah MacVie for permission to use it here. He developed what was perhaps the first model of Big History based on the modern understanding of non-equilibrium thermodynamics in The Self-Organizing Universe Jantsch This book — his widely-acknowledged masterwork and for good reason — is still a stunning example of integrative multidisciplinary scholarship even after four decades, and anyone who is interested in a deeper understanding of the physical processes underlying Big History would do well to get hold of a copy.
No question. First quoted in Zeleny , p. It forms the backbone of an emergent science of life that includes a science of our own lives, the biological as well as the mental and the spiritual aspects, the physical as well as the social and the cultural. The reward for its elaboration will not only be a new or partly revived natural philosophy or an improved academic understanding of how we are interconnected with evolutionary dynamics at all levels, but also an immensely practical philosophy to guide us in a time of creative instability and major restructuration of the human world ….
With such an orientation, science will also become more realistic and meaningful for the concerns of human life. It will be not merely an end product of human creativity, but a key to its further unfolding in all domains. Two final comments from his contemporaries and colleagues are in order.
One from Milan Zeleny , p. He will be re-discovered, recognized, and acknowledged as one of the most original systems thinkers of recent decades.
And one from Harold Linstone in Linstone et al. I wonder what other treasures and illuminations we might have received from him if he had indeed lived to today… Meanwhile, watch for a related paper in an upcoming special issue of the Journal of Big History. Jantsch, E ed.
The Self-Organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications
Erich Jantsch’s 90th birthday…
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