The Fourth Paradigm

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 12:00 PM
Room: 419
Distributed Paper
Andrea PITASI , Business, Gabriele D'Annunzio University, Italy
The paradigm shifts which featured the systemic thinking from the 1980s to the end of  the last century and the very beginning of the 21st lead to some radical epistemological  changes at the crossroads between  communication sciences and sociology. This  paper on one side reconstructs the key  paradigm  shifts in  system theory from the whole /part one (P1)  to the system /environment one (P2)  and then  to the autopoietic paradigm shift (P3).  Kuhnian normality was  rather   unlikely in systems theory and still the key global economical , technological , social  challenges of our times required revolutionary shifts. The other side of this paper is essentially focused on theorizing  a fourth paradigm shift which  selects the   fragments of the late XX  century  epistemological  debate   turning them in a systematic ( in the Mertonian   meaning of the term) redesign of the concept of system itself revealing  that  design and evolution are two faces of the same coin.  

“In any event, we have changed our own evolution but not ended it”.

(Barash 2008: 25)

“Some increase in plasticity is to be expected […]. It represents the extrapolation of a trend toward variability already apparent in the baboos, chimpanzes and other cercopithecoids what is really surprising however is the extreme to which it has been carried. Why are human societies this flexible?”

(Wilson, 2000: 548)