REPRESENTATION SYSTEM 2)3)4)
Any observer must necessarily construct for himself a set of rules for the interpretation of whatever he perceives. In nearly all cases, this mental structure (or cognitive system) remains tacit, and even unconscious, while the observer thinks that he is applying the "natural laws of intelligence" and obtaining the knowledge of "reality".
In fact there are many representation systems, which are individual variants of great collective systems of cultural origin.
As shown by von FOERSTER, H. MATURANA and F. VARELA, every observer construct his/her own representation system, which moreover are interdependent: "I exist through the others and they exist through myself; we are our reciprocal feedbacks" (H.von FOERSTER, 1992, p.85).
Representation systems can be rooted in myths, in some religious belief, in a philosophical system, in an ideology or in a scientific paradigm, for example. In some cases, they may present individual or collective pathological variants (personal or mass paranoia).
The present planetary transculturation process tends to make manifest the existence, nature and characteristics of the various culturally grounded representation systems. (see for example MARUYAMA's work on mindscapes).
The necessity to understand and manage the numerous complex situations now created by man himself has given rise to a new representation system, the systemic one, which has been explored as such by authors like C. WEST CHURCHMAN (1971), H. SIMON (1969) and J.L.LE MOIGNE (1977).
LE MOIGNE writes: "The representation system… transforms the object to be modelized into a transmissible model". He proposes his "Système Général" concept "as a representation system for organized complexity" (1977, p.55-58).
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
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]
We thank the following partners for making the open access of this volume possible: