The Centre for Social Ontology (CSO) held its second workshop on social morphogenesis at the EPFL in Lausanne from 16th to 18th January 2013. As collaborator of the CSO since January 2012, Wolfgang Hofkirchner elaborated on systems aspects of current trends ascribed to society. He contended that, in line with Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s ideas of General System Theory, the basic mechanism of social development/evolution is the nascence of world society – the possible formation of a higher-order system known in complex systems thinking as metasystem transition. Besides the critical realist school of sociology, represented by Margaret Archer who heads the CSO, the project comprises different approaches like relational sociology, political economy, international relations, neo-structuralism and network analysis, metatheory bridging the gap from natural science to social science, and, of course, systems theory.
Margaret Archer at the workshop (photo: Wolfgang Hofkirchner)