Autonomous change

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Abstract

A system can change autonomously by shaping how to use environment inputs. Existing models of goal-directedness mainly focus on a system’s ability to maintain despite perturbations, which may not be suit- able for systems that modify themselves. I shift the emphasis from goal- directedness to autonomy, defined as a system’s capacity to generate the constraints that shape its constraint-generating behaviour. By extending this closure of constraint model to explicitly model systems that produce new constraints, a model of autonomous change is developed. The re- action network framework of chemical organization theory is used as a modelling language. Goal-directedness and autonomy also have similarities; a self-organised goal-directed system might be a static version of an autonomous system. A changing system also shifts the paradigm from a system consisting of a singular main goal to a dynamic coordination of evolving goals and processes. Finally, the implications of this framework on human autonomy are explored.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSystems Research and Behavioral Science
Publication statusSubmitted - 2023

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