Relational Science and Holistic Analysis

Our goal for this Relational Science site is to build a basic synthesis of relational complexity on the foundations developed by Robert Rosen. Rosen himself did not attempt a comprehensive synthesis of relational complexity as a general theory of nature (or world view); his interest was in its derivation and application to living systems, to help him answer his central question: “What is Life?”

Relational HolonA recent synthesis of Rosen’s theoretical tracks has been accomplished, however, called R-theory [papers]. The theory is being applied in many fields and can also form the basis of a new complex semantic information system.  The core of this theory is the relational ‘holon’, using the term originally coined by Aurthur Koestler to describe a unit of nature that is both whole and part at the same time. We now have a mathematical description for that, and it corresponds with both modern science and the most ancient philosophy on Earth.

The relational holon is Rosen’s modeling relation applied generally. It provides a causal theory of nature that does not exclude novel behaviors associated with complex and living systems. Mechanisms are only part of the holon, but are not contradicted. Because of its generality and parsimony, R-theory may provide insights into many fields including systems engineering, space-time physics, evolution, ecology, sociology, and mind-body relations.

A major area of current development is in Ecology, where its principles are most evident and most in need of being applied in practical management situations at all levels. R-theory can provide a rigorous foundation for principles of ecological literacy to help improve our collective understanding and co-existence with nature.


Annual Meetings of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS)

The next meeting of the ISSS is:

ISSS 2013: Hai Phong City, Viet Nam, July 14-19, 2013

The 57th World Conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

Curating the Conditions for a Thrivable Planet: Systemic Leverage Points for Emerging a Global Eco-Civilization

See the ISSS Presidential Address by Alexander Laszlo [ISSS link] [download]


ISSS Relational Science Special Integration Group (RS-SIG)

This Website serves as a pre-conference collaboration site for the RS-SIG, which has paper streams and organizational meetings every year at the annual conference. We hope those interested in interacting on this site will also become ISSS and SIG members and submit conference papers to the ISSS. In addition, papers can be contributed to Systems Research and Behavioral Science (SRBS), which is the ISSS official Journal. Announcements will be made on this site about special pre-conference or other workshops, and invited papers for each year’s ISSS theme.

Relational Science ISSS-SIG 2013 Meeting: Abstracts are requested

The Relational Science SIG invites abstracts for paper or poster sessions on applying relational thinking to the theme of this conference: how to ensure a sustainable planet. Please consult the pages on this site to see the perspective taken by the SIG. Be aware of how relations are defined here, whether you apply the SIG’s approach or critique it. Entirely different approaches without reference to the SIG’s orientation (either using or critiquing it) probably belong in a different SIG. For more information on Robert Rosen and his theories see: “Rosennean complexity and other interests” at www.panmere.org , an “Rosen Enterprises” at  www.rosen-enterprises.com

Papers are welcome on Relational Science theory, practice, relation to other theories and practices, and most of all case studies applying the theory. The SIG’s purpose is to thoroughly explore and develop the paradigm that Rosen began, to complete the theory, to explore its place in the systems sciences, and to apply it as widely as possible.

Be aware that “Relationalism” may have entirely different meanings in other disciplines, so be careful to cite what concept you are working with and how it relates to the one defined here. This is only to avoid the problem of reinventing foundations as opposed to making progress in exploring their value. Here we want to explore the value of Rosen’s foundation.

A special theme this year will be “Ecological Literacy Leadership” as a new international education proposal. We would like to have papers on how relational thinking can clarify ecological principles and help build an education initiative for changing the way people see nature in science and society and in all disciplines and sectors.

for information contact: John.kineman@colorado.edu 

4 Responses to Home

  1. Patricia Mc Grath says:

    Thanks for the information. I’m looking forward to learning more. Patricia

  2. John Kineman John Kineman says:

    I have edited the home page and added a simplified diagram of the basic analysis schema. I’ll be adding more tutorial-like discussions in the Blog in response to triggering questions I am getting from various people.

  3. Alex&er says:

    I’d love to weave into the exchanges here. In particular, I would be interested in sharing my Incoming Presidential Address delivered to the ISSS on the occasion of the 56th Annual Conference in San Jose, CA earlier this year. The paper centers on the question of how to foster relational intelligence and on the role the systems sciences have in doing so. Please let me know if/how/when it might be appropriate to upload my address as a platform for ongoing inquiry and exploration.

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