Relational Theory Workshop at the 55th ISSS Meeting

Scheduled for July 17, 2011 at the 55th Meeting of the ISSS in Hull, England:

10:00 to 16:30 Relational Science: A Synthesis

John Kineman and Judith Rosen, Derwent SR5

Workshop sponsored by the “Relational Science” SIG (formerly “What is Life/Living” SIG)

In this workshop we will work through concepts that take us from mechanism to relational complexity and we will gain a deep understanding of what this debate is about: that we can learn more about the causal nature of reality by exploring the full nature of complex systems rather than building knowledge from simple systems. We will see that the two views are not really in conflict, but that the traditional view in physics is retained for consistency with previous non-complex theory structures. We will see clearly how the world described by physics is a reduction of the complex reality, and how complexity appears naturally in physical, biological, and ecological systems. We will not explore the equations of physics, but will present the relational approach with examples in physics, biology, and ecology. We will discuss the underlying principles and theory structure in terms of a re-interpretation of Aristotle’s four causes and their closure in nature. We will introduce new techniques for analyzing complex systems in terms of category theory mappings, which bridge between quantitative and qualitative analysis, and also explore how to apply statistical and probability theory to practical problems in complex system analysis. The workshop will be at an advanced level conceptually and a basic level mathematically and computationally. The aim of the workshop is to sketch conceptual and computational tools for applying relational science in the natural and human world.


John Kineman notes:

A workshop and SIG website has been established by the graces of Jeff Prideaux. At this site you can access relevant information about the workshop and related materials. In particular you will find the key papers for the workshop posted there under the "Papers" tab. The URL is:

If we can work out the technical details there will be a livestream of the workshop and those viewing may communicate via the relational science website or the livestream chat function. The URL for the live stream, if it happens, will be:

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