Condition of a system that, starting from its initial state, may reach different states of dynamic stability.
Just like with equifinality, this property can never be verified in concrete systems, which have each one and only one adaptive sequence.
J. SINGH goes however quite farther, and in a different interpretation, when he writes that this is "the property of a system in which remaining subsystems can fulfil the functions of subsystems that have been eliminated" (1972, p.157 – retranslated from Spanish!).
This would be possible only if some subsystems were redundant.
J. NEEDHAM reproduces DRIESCH's diagram of the characteristics of an harmonious equipotential system (1968, p. 52). Some embryonic element X as a part of the embryo forms simultaneously part of different potential subsystems and "its prospective value is different in each case." DRIESCH spoke of a "prospective potency", in order to signify the collection of possible fates of such a part: the actual fate (the prospective significance) is chosen from among the possible fates (the prospective potency) (p. 53)
The original embryo has thus the general character of a hologram. this is confirmed by the fact that, after dividing the embryo a typically whole gastrula appears "differing from a normal one only by its smaller size"(p. 52).
This shows that the original embryo (and possibly any system in its initial stage- see CSANYI zero-system) has a specific potential for global differentiated organization.
NEEDHAM adds the following suggestive comment: "…one of the most fundamental process in development consists in the closing of doors, i.e., in determination, in the progressive restriction of the possible fates"(p. 55) and "Prospective potency (becomes) ruthlessly curtailed to prospective significance"(p. 56)
The foregoing shows the very general meaning of equipotentiality
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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