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By Norbert Bischof, Harry Gubler

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However, to show that a given material system realizes an (M,R)system is a matter of verification, not fabrication. It still does not tell us how to build or fabricate such a realization; how to establish causal chains culminating in such a system. The essential and surprising point of our preceding discussion, however, is that such a fabrication process is itself an (M,R)-system; the process itself is a kind of realization of that which we seek to fabricate thereby. This is the ultimate reason why the "origin of life" problem is hard; as we have seen, it takes us out of every epistemological category we have inherited from the time of Newton.

5. " For a long time, machines had the connotation of being systems which were fabricated, or engineered; artificial or artifactual; the products of design. Thus, to talk as Descartes did, about a natural machine, and even more, to identify organisms as falling within this class, involved a provocative extension of the machine concept, which led naturally to the inclusions organisms C machines C mechanisms to which we alluded earlier. Indeed, nowadays, the term "machine" is used in so many different senses that we must spend a moment to clarify our own usage of this term.

So far, there is essentially no inferential or syntactic structure. To get some, we must add it in explicitly. Let us then suppose we give ourselves a mapping which means that we can operate on certain input words w, and obtain corresponding output words f( w). This, as we have seen, is the simplest prototypic inferential structure in any formal system. But given this single inferential rule, we can "fool" our system into evaluating many other functions for us, and thus carrying out many new inferences.

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A Systems Theory Perspective (Infant Development: Perspectives from German-Speaking Countries) by Norbert Bischof, Harry Gubler


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