Problem: The inclusion of the observer into scientific observation entails a vicious circle of having to observe the observer as dependent on observation. Second-order science has to clarify how its underlying circularity can be scientifically conceived. Method: Essayistic and conceptual analysis, sporadically illustrated with agent-based experiments. Results: Second-order science – implying science in general – is fundamentally and ineluctably circular. Implications: The circularity of second-order science asks for analytical methods able to cope with phenomena of complex causation and “synchronous asynchrony,” such as tools for analyzing non-linearly interacting dynamics, decentralized, clustered networks and in general, systems of complex interacting components.
Key words: Observer dependency, second-order science, complexity, information, intentionality
Füllsack M. (2014) The Circular Conditions of Second-order Science Sporadically Illustrated with Agent-based Experiments at the Roots of Observation. Constructivist Foundations 10(1): 46–54. Available at http://constructivist.info/10/1/046.fuellsack