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  1. Francis Heylighen & Center Leo Apostel Ecco (2012). A Brain in a Vat Cannot Break Out: Why the Singularity Must Be Extended, Embedded and Embodied. Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (1-2):126-142.
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  2. Francis Heylighen (2011). Symmetry, Potentiality and Reversibility. Foundations of Science 16 (4):335-336.
    This short comment confirms Longo’s observation about the importance of symmetries for understanding space and time, but raises the additional issue of the transition from reversible to irreversible transformations.
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  3. Francis Heylighen, Life is an Adventure! An Agent-Based Reconciliation of Narrative and Scientific Worldviews.
    The scientific worldview is based on laws, which are supposed to be certain, objective, and independent of time and context. The narrative worldview found in literature, myth and religion, is based on stories, which relate the events experienced by a subject in a particular context with an uncertain outcome. This paper argues that the concept of “agent”, supported by the theories of evolution, cybernetics and complex adaptive systems, allows us to reconcile scientific and narrative perspectives. An agent follows a course (...)
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  4. Francis Heylighen (2010). The Self-Organization of Time and Causality: Steps Towards Understanding the Ultimate Origin. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 15 (4):345-356.
    Possibly the most fundamental scientific problem is the origin of time and causality. The inherent difficulty is that all scientific theories of origins and evolution consider the existence of time and causality as given. We tackle this problem by starting from the concept of self-organization, which is seen as the spontaneous emergence of order out of primordial chaos. Self-organization can be explained by the selective retention of invariant or consistent variations, implying a breaking of the initial symmetry exhibited by randomness. (...)
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  5. Ann Heylighen, Francis Heylighen, Johan Bollen & Mathias Casaer (2007). Distributed (Design) Knowledge Exchange. AI and Society 22 (2):145-154.
    Despite the intrinsic complexity of integrating individual, social and technologically supported intelligence, the paper proposes a relatively simple ‘connectionist’ framework for conceptualizing distributed cognitive systems. Shared information sources (documents) are represented as nodes connected by links of variable strength, which increases as the documents co-occur in the usage patterns. This learning procedure captures and exploits its users’ implicit knowledge to help them find relevant information, thus supporting an unconscious form of exchange. These principles are applied to a concrete problem domain: (...)
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  6. Francis Heylighen & Clément Vidal (2007). Getting Things Done: The Science Behind Stress-Free Productivity. Cogprints.
    Allen (2001) proposed the “Getting Things Done” (GTD) method for personal productivity enhancement, and reduction of the stress caused by information overload. This paper argues that recent insights in psychology and cognitive science support and extend GTD’s recommendations. We first summarize GTD with the help of a flowchart. We then review the theories of situated, embodied and distributed cognition that purport to explain how the brain processes information and plans actions in the real world. The conclusion is that the brain (...)
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  7. Francis Heylighen, Paul Cilliers & Carlos Gershenson (2006). [Book Chapter] (in Press).
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  8. Francis Heylighen, Paul Cilliers & Carlos Gershenson (2006). Complexity and Philosophy. In [Book Chapter] (in Press).
    The science of complexity is based on a new way of thinking that stands in sharp contrast to the philosophy underlying Newtonian science, which is based on reductionism, determinism, and objective knowledge. This paper reviews the historical development of this new world view, focusing on its philosophical foundations. Determinism was challenged by quantum mechanics and chaos theory. Systems theory replaced reductionism by a scientifically based holism. Cybernetics and postmodern social science showed that knowledge is intrinsically subjective. These developments are being (...)
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  9. Carlos Gershenson & Francis Heylighen (2004). [Book Chapter] (Unpublished).
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  10. Carlos Gershenson & Francis Heylighen (2004). How Can We Think the Complex? In [Book Chapter] (Unpublished).
    In this chapter we want to provide philosophical tools for understanding and reasoning about complex systems. Classical thinking, which is taught at most schools and universities, has several problems for coping with complexity. We review classical thinking and its drawbacks when dealing with complexity, for then presenting ways of thinking which allow the better understanding of complex systems. Examples illustrate the ideas presented. This chapter does not deal with specific tools and techniques for managing complex systems, but we try to (...)
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  11. Francis Heylighen & Jean-Marc Dewaele (2002). Variation in the Contextuality of Language: An Empirical Measure. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 7 (3):293-340.
    The context of a linguisticexpression is defined as everything outside theexpression itself that is necessary forunambiguous interpretation of the expression.As meaning can be conveyed either by theimplicit, shared context or by the explicitform of the expression, the degree ofcontext-dependence or ``contextuality'' ofcommunication will vary, depending on thesituation and preferences of the languageproducer. An empirical measure of thisvariation is proposed, the ``formality'' or``F-score'', based on the frequencies ofdifferent word classes. Nouns, adjectives,articles and prepositions are more frequent inlow-context or ``formal'' types of (...)
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  12. Francis Heylighen, Johan Bollen, Alexander Riegler & Gunther J. Eble (2001). Book and Software Reviews-The Complexity of Evolution: Review of" The Evolution of Complexity: The Violet Book of Einstein Meets Magritte". [REVIEW] Complexity 6 (6):24-27.
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  13. Francis Heylighen (2000). Complexity and Evolution, by Max Pettersson, The Major Transitions in Evolution, by John Maynard Smith and E�Rs Szathm�Ry, The Origins of Life From the Birth of Life to the Origin of Language, by John Maynard Smith and E�Rs Szathm�Ry. Complexity 6 (1):53-57.
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  14. Francis Heylighen (2000). Foundations and Methodology for an Evolutionary World View: A Review of the Principia Cybernetica Project. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 5 (4):457-490.
    The Principia Cybernetica Project was created to develop an integrated philosophy or world view, based on the theories of evolution, self-organization, systems and cybernetics. Its conceptual network has been implemented as an extensive website. The present paper reviews the assumptions behind the project, focusing on its rationale, its philosophical presuppositions, and its concrete methodology for computer-supported collaborative development. Principia Cybernetica starts from a process ontology, where a sequence of elementary actions produces ever more complex forms of organization through the mechanism (...)
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  15. Francis Heylighen (1999). Advantages and Limitations of Formal Expression. Foundations of Science 4 (1):25-56.
    Testing the validity of knowledge requires formal expression of that knowledge. Formality of an expression is defined as the invariance, under changes of context, of the expression's meaning, i.e. the distinction which the expression represents. This encompasses both mathematical formalism and operational determination. The main advantages of formal expression are storability, universal communicability, and testability. They provide a selective edge in the Darwinian competition between ideas. However, formality can never be complete, as the context cannot be eliminated. Primitive terms, observation (...)
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  16. Francis Heylighen (1999). Paul S. Agutter Was Reader in Cell Biology at Napier University in Edinburgh, and His Main Experimental Interest is in the Transport of Molecules Between the Nuclear and the Cytoplasm. His Most Recent Book, The Meaning of Nucleocytoplasmic Transport, Co-Authored with Philip Taylor, Was Published in 1996 by RG Landes Company. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 4:107-109.
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  17. Francis Heylighen, What Makes a Meme Successful? Selection Criteria for Cultural Evolution.
    Meme replication is described as a 4-stage process, consisting of assimilation, retention, expression and transmission. The effect of different objective, subjective, intersubjective and meme-centered selection criteria on these different stages is discussed.
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  18. Francis Heylighen (1997). Classic Publications on Complex, Evolving Systems: A Citation-Based Survey. Complexity 2 (5):31-36.
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  19. Francis Heylighen (1997). Objective, Subjective and Intersubjective Selectors of Knowledge. .
    It is argued that the acceptance of knowledge in a community depends on several, approximately independent selection "criteria". The objective criteria are distinctiveness, invariance and controllability, the subjective ones are individual utility, coherence, simplicity and novelty, and the intersubjective ones are publicity, expressivity, formality, collective utility, conformity and authority. Science demarcates itself from other forms of knowledge by explicitly controlling for the objective criteria.
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  20. Francis Heylighen (1995). (Meta)Systems as Constraints on Variation— a Classification and Natural History of Metasystem Transitions. World Futures 45 (1):59-85.
    (1995). (Meta)systems as constraints on variation— a classification and natural history of metasystem transitions. World Futures: Vol. 45, The Quantum of Evolution, pp. 59-85.
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  21. Francis Heylighen & Donald Campbell (1995). Selection of Organization at the Social Level: Obstacles and Facilitators of Metasystem Transitions. World Futures 45 (1):181-212.
    (1995). Selection of organization at the social level: Obstacles and facilitators of metasystem transitions. World Futures: Vol. 45, The Quantum of Evolution, pp. 181-212.
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  22. Francis Heylighen & Cliff Joslyn (1995). Towards a Theory of Metasystem Transitions: Introduction to the Special Issue. World Futures 45 (1):1-4.
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  23. Francis Heylighen (1994). Fitness as Default: The Evolutionary Basis of Cognitive Complexity Reduction. In [Book Chapter].
    Given that knowledge consists of finite models of an infinitely complex reality, how can we explain that it is still most of the time reliable? Survival in a variable environment requires an internal model whose complexity (variety) matches the complexity of the environment that is to be controlled. The reduction of the infinite complexity of the sensed environment to a finite map requires a strong mechanism of categorization. A measure of cognitive complexity (C) is defined, which quantifies the average amount (...)
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  24. Francis Heylighen (1992). Non-Rational Cognitive Processes as Changes of Distinctions. In G. van der Vijve (ed.), New Perspectives on Cybernetics. 220--77.
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  25. Francis Heylighen (1991). Modelling Emergence. World Futures 32 (2):151-166.
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