Across the natural and social world, some fairly advanced and apparently robust systems seem to suddenly destroy themselves without discernible reason, function or purpose. While some living bodies succumb to the diseases of their own making, empires collapse and revolutions, as the late 18th century French used to say, tend to devour their own children. Whereas such and similar cases have been extensively discussed within specific branches of scholarship, with occasional parallels exposed and analysed (see details below), the attempts to propose and test a general theory of self-destruction in complex systems remain, to our knowledge, a thing of the future. To move in this direction, we suggest a tentative hypothesis, claiming that the distributed nature of complex systems, often overlooked by scholars, may be chiefly responsible for their unintended self-annihilation. Further, we suppose that the relations of such systems to their own distinctiveness, time processes and other systems may result in specific pathologies (respectively, autoimmunity, inflation and noisy signaling) playing crucial role in self-destructive activities. To specify, amend, confirm or disprove these suppositions, we intend to enlist the cooperation of historians, psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, economists, legal scholars, literary and language scholars, immunologists and computer scientists and information specialists.
Information on participating / attending:
The event takes place as a hybrid conference. To register for zoom, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
08/02/2021 - 08/03/2021
Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung
Center for Interdisciplinary Research
Scientists and scholars
Economics / business administration, History / archaeology, Information technology, Psychology, Social studies
Types of events:
Seminar / workshop / discussion
Dr. Manuela Lenzen
Medien und News
Event is free:
Language of the text:
URL of this event: http://idw-online.de/en/event69222
You can combine search terms with and, or and/or not, e.g. Philo not logy.
You can use brackets to separate combinations from each other, e.g. (Philo not logy) or (Psycho and logy).
Coherent groups of words will be located as complete phrases if you put them into quotation marks, e.g. “Federal Republic of Germany”.
You can also use the advanced search without entering search terms. It will then follow the criteria you have selected (e.g. country or subject area).
If you have not selected any criteria in a given category, the entire category will be searched (e.g. all subject areas or all countries).