An excessive proliferation of elements in a system, that progressively impedes its correct working.
Translated outside biology, sclerosis would seem merely a metaphor. However the progressive proliferation of super numerous elements can also be observed in human social systems.
F. ROBB writes: "As the institution/distinction systems elaborate and expand, so their efficiency at doing this should decrease. The models which provide meaning should no longer be sufficient to explain objects, events, and the processes encountered in the world. As the institution extends its boundaries, there should be a proliferation of rules and an increase in the complexity of the classifications they make. This should increase until the distinctions are too complex to convey meaning. The efficiency of the institution in making use of the available energy should then decline" (1990, p.395).
Sclerosis is probably comparable to ASHBY's too richly joined systems, wherein excessive constraints reduce adaptiveness up to the point of eventually suppress it outright. This leads unavoidedly to the demise of the system.
The basic reason for such a process is possibly the unending accumulation and storage of acquired adaptations (many of which will never be used again) and the resulting reduction of the globally limited potential for further adaptations in any autopoietic system. This may be the conceptual nexus between ageing and sclerosis.
It would be of systemic interest to closely investigate the sclerosis process in general terms and try to formalize it.
- 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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