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Integration and differentiation

In the process of metasystem transition some number of systems of a certain type S are united by being put under an emerging common control, which creates a metasystem S'. We call this integration, because the systems of type S become parts of something whole (integer) -- the metasystem S'.

In an advanced metasystem transition, integration of S-subsystems is typically followed by their specialization: different subsystems start playing different roles in the whole S', and undergo corresponding modifications. Very often the body of the control system consists of modified S-subsystems. Thus the nervous system of animals is built of specialized cells, which are basically the same formations as those which live, since the dawn of evolution, as one-cell organisms. Another example: officers in the armed forces are, so to say, "specialized soldiers" -- they are the same human beings, but with special training and functions.

Copyright© 1999 Principia Cybernetica - Referencing this page

V. Turchin,

Jul 11, 1999 (modified)
Sep 1991 (created)


Metasystem Transition Theory

The Metasystem Transition

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