2007/08/07 13:45 Hiroshi Deguchi, "Systems Sciences Toward the New Liberal Arts for the Global Society of 21st Century"

2007/08/07 13:45 Hiroshi Deguchi, "Systems Sciences Toward the New Liberal Arts for the Global Society of 21st Century", ISSS Tokyo 2007

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Hiroshi Deguchi, Leader of 21 Century COE Program ABSSS, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan


Hiroshi Deguchi

Problems of systems science

  • Little influence for connecting science and humanities

Mission of SGSR:  change isomorphy to commensurability

System concepts popular, e.g. feedback

  • But little linkage to CAS or SSME

Haven't established a philosophy of science for artificial and social semantics

Gap between social and general systems theory

  • Luhmann is based on macro communication processes

Foundation of epistemology

  • Kripke:  causal chain/ but too naive
  • Quine

Liberal arts

  • Contrast to professional, vocation or technical curriculum
  • Includes literature, language, philosophy, math and science

Classical liberal arts of the Oriental world

  • Mo-tzu (490-403 BC)
  • Philosophy partially from architectural concepts
  • School came from lower classes
  • Ethics as sympathy (sometimes wrongly translated to universal love)
  • Peace keep against attacks of war.
  • Activities included:  logic, rhetoric, optics, ethics, peace keeping and political practice (no mucis)

First social simulation by Mo-Tzu B.C. 400

Liberal arts as free from what?  

  • Mission traditionally to serve God and man, and to become free from all others except God in the context of pre-modern society

What are the life world platforms of the 21st century?

We are living partially embedded and partially disembedded society

  • Semantic differentiation = cross cultural platform

So, propose:  new liberty under the cross-cultural, trans-state and trans-civilization context

Draw:  intellectual map

  • New liberal arts should support the ability of drawing the intellectual map of knowledge


  • 2x2:  participatory intersubjective; vs. rational and normative
  • 2x2:  market vs. non-market; public vs. private

Commensurability gap:

  • One:  gap betwen social systems theory and other systems theory
    • e.g. Luhmann gave different meaning to "system boundary"
  • Other: gap between emergent CAS and ABM

Macro-micro link

Gaps are becoming more serious

  • Need the ways of the inter-subjective

To overcome the commensurability problem ...

Ten new liberal arts domains

  • 1. Mathematical thoery of systems modeling that includes mathematical aspects of systemic properties
  • 2. Conflict resolution and accommodation
  • 3. System modeling and practices of participatory approach to construct the shared knowledge inside organizations or societies
  • 4. Extension of rational decision-making, including evolutionary and learning aspects of decision-making
  • 5. Anticipatory systems theory and the internal model
  • 6. Integration of functional and bottom-up approach
  • 7. Social semantics and communication theory for inter-subjective construction of shared understanding
  • 8. Systems sciences for cultural contexts, services analysis and value creation: focused on SSME
  • 9. Agent-based social simulation:  systems dynamics provides functional stock and flow points of view, need to extend from bottom-up approach.
    • Social architecture design by SOARS, not for prediction, but for comunication, sharing of internal model and option evaluation
  • 10. Systems philosophy and methodology under communication with traditional philosophy of sciences


Holistic approach?

  • Liberal arts is not working well at universities

Interdisciplinary approach?

  • An individual who can speak multiple languages, not bringing together disciplinary people as a group