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> Saying that social systems do not live is a huge ontological leap.
> Serious complexity scholars debate various kinds of superorganism
> social theories.
Yes, of course. That's why I marked quite clear from which position I argue,
namely the theory of autopoietic systems. I just wonder what the sociological
gain of such a conception might be. Determining life and death of social
systems? Examining the mating behavior and sleeping patterns of organizations
or art systems? Illness and foraging of classroom interaction?
> > No
> > protein, cell, neural activity or heartbeat ever contributes to a
> > decision-making process in a formal organization - unless you adopt a
> > "holistic" stance that everything is connected to everything
> else which is a
> > scientifically rather discontenting vantage point.
> Both holism and atomism are equally valid/invalid ontological starting
> points. Which one you adopt is a preference and does not affect the
> ability to do science or not.
The antonym for holism isn't necessary atomism. What I prefer in distinction
to "holistic" is relational or ecological.
Holism is indeed no good vantage point for studying social phenomena (the
term "science" is indeed too loaded). When you start with the assumption that
everything is causally connected to everything else (that's what I term
holism) than you can't say anything about anything because every cause you
identify is just an effect of another cause - ad infinitum. Therefore truly
holistic studies just can't be finished. The whole thing becomes interesting
if you start asking which observer uses which distinction to cope with such
over-determined situations. But then you already have left holism without
necessarily having entered atomism.
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