Two kinds of CAS: how did I miss this insight?

Whenever I have spoken of ‘complex adaptive system’, CAS, in the past, never had I ever articulated this distinction:

This is the conceptually unified and richly transdisciplinary foundation for the new economic paradigm that we describe in part II of our article[i]. We make a crucial distinction between two meanings of the key term “complex adaptive system”: The first meaning is a complex system that is adaptive as a system(CAS1). The second meaning is a complex system composed of agents following their respective adaptive strategies (CAS2). The key insight of MLS theory is that CAS2 systems do not robustly self-organize into CAS1 systems. Special conditions are required: namely, the whole system must be the unit of selection. Otherwise, lower-level selection forces take over, in the same way that cancers destroy the functional organization of multicellular organisms.

Wow, thinking back, I understood this, but only tacitly. The context of my peregrinations had to serve to indicate whether I was wibbling on CAS2 or CAS1.

PPS: POSSIBLE PRAXIS INSIGHT… What is the unit/chunk/module/holon/VS(or nonVS) that is being selected? Are you sure?


These evonomicks chaps are onto something…https://evonomics.com/the-making-of-rethinking-the-theoretical-foundation-of-economics/

3 thoughts on “Two kinds of CAS: how did I miss this insight?

  1. Reminds me of Gerald Midgley’s four kinds of complexity. I hope he will forgive me for this over simplified description.

    The complexity of real world actions
    The complexity of people’s perception of real word complexity
    The complexity of people’s responses to what they perceive
    The complexity of all this operating together.

    • yesandno. he and i are observing different things AFAIK and IMHO.

      i think he is more an organisational scientist (psychology background? dunno) whereas I’m more looking for conceptual frameworks that are more primitive in the Bertie. Russell sense

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