"Anticipation—The End Is Where We Start From" is an introduction
to research in anticipation. This is a hybrid publication: book, interactive DVD, and website.
It presents 12 theses on anticipation and provides
a reference bibliography for further reading. The text is published in English,
German, and French.
Click here to see the book (or here).
For about 400 years, humankind, or at least the western world, has let itself be guided by the foundation set by Descartes and Newton. The cause-and-effect, deterministic model of the machine became so powerful that every thing and every being came to be considered a machine.
As a description of the material world and as an expression of the laws governing its functioning, deterministic-based physics and Cartesian reductionism
(of the whole to its parts) proved to be extremely powerful instruments
in the overall progress of humankind. But neither Descartes nor Newton,
nor most of their followers, could have envisioned the spectacular development
of science in its current depth and breadth.
The physicist Erwin Schrödinger concluded that organisms are subject to “a new physics,” which he did not produce, but rather viewed as necessary. This new physics might well be the domain of anticipation. Indeed, from within physics itself—that is, quantum mechanics—a possible understanding of some aspects of anticipation can be derived.
The realization that the world is the unity of reaction and anticipation is not new. What is new is the awareness of the limits of our understanding a dynamics of change that transcends the deterministic view. The urgent need for such an understanding is probably best expressed in the spectacular development of the life sciences.
The perspective of the world that anticipation opens justifies the descriptor “a second Cartesian Revolution.” Instead of explaining complexity away, we will have to integrate it into our existence as the informational substratum of rich forms through which anticipatory processes take place.