On persons as systems

What’s really interesting, and I am not aware of anybody who has researched into it, is how do people work as personalities from a systems perspective? Every person can be seen as a psychodynamic system; to maintain proper operation, motivation, enjoyment, relaxation etc. are needed and have to come from some source. Now it will be interesting to see the very different ways how people provide these, and become a working (or non-working) system, within their own environment. This is especialy helpful to understand cultural differences.

And in the same way, open source projects are sociodynamic / psychodynamic systems. And even societies are. Failure arises if these systems cannot maintain their own integrity and stop working properly: open source projects die, societies falter.

So there should be a discipline “social engineering” and “personality engineering” that helps structure people and groups so that they can be working systems. It seems that nobody attempted that yet (on society level, they just focus on money … what a poor abstraction).

On personal disintegration

While we are at this topic, there is another aspect: avoiding personal disintegration. One should take care to keep up ones personality as a system, to keep it from falling apart, that is, disintegration. Because, disintegrated persons are no longer able to live on their own; they are also unable to learn living on their own again; instead, they need “professional help”. A disintegrated person is what is commonly understood as a “broken personality”. Someone who stopped working as a self-supporting system.

There are many “disintegrating forces” in life. Stress, the lack of relaxation times, the expectations of others, substance dependence, other dependences, unhealthy nutrition, lack of fitness, … . The result of disintegration is normally no physical issue, at least not alone. Physical issues like lack of fitness, bad nutrition etc. can contribute, but more important are the mind issues to which these physical issues contribute: lack of motivation, depression, inability to enjoy, lack of visionary goals, feeling a lack of meaning in life etc..

On free will

People still discuss if people have a free will or not. Here is a new approach: the free will might be nothing that has a biological foundation (biology might even hinder it), but free will might be nonetheless present, “purely in software”, that is, in learned brain function. In that respect, the concept of “personhood” might be correct simply because others expect people to behave as persons, and they learn to fulfill these expectations (they learn to behave as persons: being responsible, having a conscience, having a free will). That way, personhood would be a social construct. (Just as free will, so also responsibility, so also moral debt, which are entailed in the concept of personhood.)

2 thoughts on “Systems perspective on people

  1. Einige systemtheorethische Gedanken dazu:

    Systeme konstruieren ihre Wirklichkeit (ob das so ist sei mal dahingestellt), können dabei nur auf eigene Zustände/Informationen/Operationen bezug nehmen, sind aber materiell und energetisch von ihrer Umwelt abhängig.

    Dabei sind biologische, psychische, und soziale Systeme zwar operational getrennt, können aber Relevanz füreinander haben

    Soziale Desintegration erweitert psychische und soziale Freiheiten, erweitert die reduzierte Komplexität und eröffnet Möglichkeiten, anders handeln, denken oder kommunizieren zu können.

    Desintegrationsnormalität: Integration ist für Inklusion an Funktionssystemen hinderlich Desintegration kann als Normalfall der gesellschaftlichen Moderne und als Bedingung für Differenzierung gesehen werden

  2. I’m seriously bedazzled 🙂 First you manage to find a post that I hardly remember to have written. Then you manage to comment in it a way so compact and dense that it seems you’re researching into this …

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