Volume 12 · Number 3 · Pages 246–252

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Eigenform and Reflexivity

Louis H. Kauffman

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Purpose: I introduce the concept of eigenform in the context of second-order cybernetics and discuss eigenform and eigenbehavior in the context of reflexivity. The point of eigenform is that it is a concept arising along with the observer at the point where the observer and the observed are apparently the same and yet apparently different. It is this nexus of the observer and the observed that is central to second-order cybernetics. Method: The article is designed as a formal introduction with excursions into the applications and meanings of these constructions. Results: I show how objects in our immediate experience can be seen to be eigenforms and that in this context such objects are a construct of our interactions, linguistic and otherwise experiential. In this way we can investigate scientifically without the need for an assumption of objectivity. Implications: The implications of this research are important for the performance and exploration of science. We can explore our role in that creation and find that what we create is independent of significant subsets of our actions. The practical implications of this study are strongest for the logical understanding of our constructions and actions. The social implications are in accord with the practical implications. We each produce eigenform models of the others and of ourselves.

Key words: Cybernetics, distinction, circularity, reflexivity, reflexive domain, eigenform.


Kauffman L. H. (2017) Eigenform and reflexivity. Constructivist Foundations 12(3): 246–252. http://constructivist.info/12/3/246

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