Date of this Version
Much has happened since the 1960s and 1970s when the idea of self-organization emerged and began to alter our conceptions of human nature, of social organization, and of a social science that had heretofore been wedded to linear causal explanations. The experience that systems could organize themselves has been revolutionary and constitutes a paradigm shift that is still ongoing. In the following, I will (A) distinguish between indigenously and self-organizing systems, (B) consider autopoiesis as a biological step towards selfhood, (C) propose a way to distinguish selves and Others, and, based on this, (D) suggest self-organization to be a social phenomenon. As the notion of self-organization reconceptualizes social organization and human experience, I will close with (E), suggestions for further work on self-organization.
Date Posted: 12 January 2011
This document has been peer reviewed.