Theory of self-organisation


The term “self-organisation” is used to denote the spontaneous origination of spatial, temporal and functional order. Self-organisation phenomena play just as important a part in pattern-formation in physical, chemical and biological systems as in the origin of biological and social forms of organisation. As organised and highly complex systems invariably require instruction, making information or language a prerequisite, the theory of self-organisation leads on into the theory of these two. The areas of applicability of the theory of self-organisation are correspondingly far-flung. Furthermore, there are close relationships to other structural sciences such as system theory, cybernetics, synergetics and peranetics.

The modern concept of self-organisation was introduced by William Ross Ashby and was taken up and developed for cybernetics and system theory by Heinz von Foerster, Norbert Wiener and others. At the beginning of the 1970s the idea of self-organisation was adopted into physics, chemistry and biology by Manfred Eigen, Ilya Progogine, Peter Schuster and others.

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