abstracts

3.1 Magoroh Maruyama:
"Causal Metatypes and Heterogram Analysis"


There are several causal metatypes applicable in sociology: (1) causality without causal loops; (2) independent-event theories; (3) change-counteracting causal loop theories; (4) change-amplifying, pattern-generating and heterogeneity-creating causal loop theories. The first is the most commonly used metatype in social science. The third and fourth are used mainly in cybernetics. The newest development based on cybernetic metatypes is heterogram analysis, which replaces the methods used in (1) and (2) based on the assumption of normal distribution - which holds only if fluctuations are independent of one another and random.

Social events are neither independent nor random: They are interactive with causal loops. Therefor it is illogical to expect normal distribution. Old data which were collected on the assumption of normal distribution can be re-analyzed with heterogram analysis, which consists in placing individuals in factor spaces to examine clusters, each of which may include individuals from many social or cultural groups. In other words, many individual types are transcultural, contrary to the widely held assumption that they are subcultural.


Magoroh Maruyama, Aomori Graduate School, Aomori Koritsu Daigaku, Goushizawa Yamazaki 153-4, Aomori City, 030-01 Japan.




3.2 Mike Byron:
"Modeling the Global International System: Logical Consistency With Theory, Internal Self-Consistency, and Empirical Falsifiability"


Assesses inter-relationships between : 1) Theory, 2) Model Simulation 3) Phenomenological Reality. Pursuant to this, evaluation of theoretical properties in context of philosophy of science is discussed. My theory of crisis-driven evolutionary learning is discussed in this context. This leads to an assessment of its potential for falsifiability, its theoretic depth, and breadth. Next, relationships between theory and simulation are evaluated. How can a given simulation be meaningfully said to correspond to a given theory? Specifies how my theory-derived, BASIC language computer simulation meaningfully corresponds to its theoretical base. Subsequently evaluates the relationships between simulation and real world empirical phenomena. Particular emphasis is placed on evaluating the "fit" between my crisis-driven evolutionary learning simulation and its real world empirical correlates. Finally, the resultant relationship between simulation derived findings and initial theory are discussed.


Michael P. Byron, 1807 South Myers, Apt. #5, Oceanside, 92054. CA, USA. Email: mpbyron1@home.com



3.3 Johannes van der Zouwen and Cor van Dijkum:
"Towards a Methodology for the Empirical Testing of Complex Social (cybernetic) Models"


The application of cybernetics for the description of social systems is a great opportunity for the social sciences to get a grip on the complexity of the ever evolving time dependent character of social phenomena. Concepts such as system, feedback, and non linear relations between variables which are used in modern cybernetics are in principle very helpful to analyze the dynamic character of those systems, and many promising models can be found in literature. The empirical foundation and validation of such models of social systems is however still a big problem.

One of the reasons for this problem is that the methodology of the social sciences is not yet ready to give clear answers to the complicated question how the empirical validation of complex models can be done in a scientifically acceptable way. Another reason is that the creators of complex sociocybernetic models value breathtaking theories to infer sociocybernetics models more , than they care about the empirical validation and falsification of their models.

This problem situation for science is a starting point to explore in this paper three questions: 1) How can the concepts and explanations which are used in modern cybernetics be translated to sound reasoning in the logic of model building and incorporated in transparent complex models of social phenomena? 2) Concerning methodology: what problems and solutions can sociocybernetics and social scientists share when they both try to validate complex models in a scientifically acceptable way? 3) How can those complex models be made plausible, and empirically testable, in a methodologically adequate way?


Johannes van der Zouwen, Department of Methodology, Free University, De Boelelaan 1081 C, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail: zouwen@scw.vu.nl



3.4 Nina-Anneli Wessberg and Kaisa Littunen:
"Conceptual Model in a Complex Energy Production System - An Approach to the Question of Validity in Modelling Natural Systems"


The systems approach has been a fashionable theme in planning and decision- making. One of the main problems of system theory is that it often simplifies reality too far. However, its core concept - to pay attention to the whole and to the relations between different entities - is its major advantage. The purpose of our study is to create a model - starting point in a real natural system - that would correspond to reality in the best possible way. A conceptual model will be made to include the problematic areas into the modeling process.

First, we shall scrutinise systems thinking and theory philosophically. This is needed to see which of its basic assumptions and ideas are rational and valuable. Second, we sketch a picture of a complex natural system, the Finnish energy production system, and bring it out in a conceptual form. Our conceptual model will serve as a tool for planning and decision-making. Its creation process will also outline possibilities and problems concerning conceptual modelling.

The advantage of the conceptual model in planning and decision-making is not to directly forecast the future, but to get a realistic picture of the present situation, the causal relationships between things and the possible directions of the system's development. By making visible possible directions of development but not fixating the future onto one alternative, it leaves space for the unpredictable.


Nina-Anneli Wessberg, Department of Regional Studies and Environmental Policy, University of Tampere, P.O. Box 607, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland. Email: Nina.Wessberg@uta.fi



3.5 Iris Bálsamo:
"Causal Law. Classical Innovation"


The creative solution to the open problem of causality by Max Planck and Albert Einstein shows that sociocybernetics could use the methodology of modern science for the empirical foundation and validation of its models. In this way, the sociological approach formed by the evolutionary articulation of three dimensions: objective, temporal and social (Luhmann, 1984) and the computational expression of the circular causality as eigenvalue by second-order cybernetics (Von Foerster, 1988) are applied to amplifying and refining the Galilean concept of causality under Einstein's conditions (Planck, 1933) by experimental methodology. The result is a Causal Law which maintains the Aristotelian classical meaning of causality, is based on the methodological reflections of the theory of autopoiesis (Maturana and Varela, 1984; Luhmann, 1984; Teubner, 1988), is formulated according to the four senses of scientific law: objective, nomological, nomopragmatic and metanomological (Bunge, 1958) and is validated by statistical methods. So then, the methodology of modern science maintains the differentiation among logic, ontologic and gnoseologic with reference to a sociocybernetic model in which time not only is an external and independent variable but also an internal and dependent one.


Iris Balsamo, Institute of Public Law, Political Science and Sociology, Natiobal Academy of Science Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Email: ibalsamo@sguillermo.datacop3.com.ar




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