P.A. BALLONOFF enounced a "Theory of Rule-bound Human Systems"(1994, p. 837-860), whose main features are as follows.
Human systems are generally rule-bound, because they could not maintain themselves otherwise.
They create their own rules and when these rules stabilize, they become codified (by custom, or law) and turn imperative for the behavior of the various social groups and their members.
As stated by BALLONOFF, the system has become "rule-bounded"and the rules affect "human choices and actions".
While the author only alludes sketchily to the fact, in many cases people try to escape from the rules and parallel rules systems appear (as for ex. barter, fraud and smuggling rings, mafia, monopolies). Rule- bound systems may crash if they become inefficient. BALLONOFF shows that rule-boundness in human systems is practically universal. The French anthropologist C. LEVI-STRAUSS, for ex. described archaic groups which are rule-bound in his "Elementary structures of kinship"(1949)
BALLONOFF exposes in his paper a formal theory of rule-bound human systems, which is useful in order to avoid implicit (or even explicit!) contradictions between rules, specially when transformed into laws and regulations. This becomes very significant at the constitutional level.
Models of rule-bound systems have practical value for prescriptions of policy, for anticipation and forecasting.
Moreover specific types of rules apply to specific types of systems. For ex. rules relative to monopolies or oligopolies may be different in small or large economic systems.
Finally BALLONOFF discusses the evolution of rule-bound systems in general (p.850-2) and shows that, while for ex. insects societies whose rules are "coded by biochemistry" and are "very, very stable", contemporary human systems rules turn much less permanently settled and, consequently "explicit rules for how to change the rules" are needed.
- 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]
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