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 International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2007)

Archetypes as Symmetries in Complex Systems

William Sulis
McMaster University

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     Last modified: June 30, 2007

Archetypal dynamics approaches the theory of complex systems through a study of meaning laden information flows within such systems. These flows are represented by graphical structures called tapestries, which evolve through the play of a combinatorial game, the reality game. The play of such games is constrained by particular terminal objects in the category of all such games termed archetypes. This notion provides a formalization of Jung’s notion of archetype that is applicable to complex systems generally. An argument is presented that the natural generalization of the role of symmetries in the behavior of simple systems composed of non-intentional agents to complex systems comprised of intentional agents is that of the archetypes. Examples will be presented from statistical physics, field theory, and cellular automata.

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