Erich Jantsch nsIn existographies, Erich Jantsch (1929-1980) (CR:26) was an Austrian-born American astrophysicist noted, in hmolscience, for his 1980 Self-Organizing Universe, wherein he attempts to scaffold on the dissipative structure theory work of Ilya Prigogine to outline melting pot like unifying model of evolution, cosmology, biology, sociology, psychology, and consciousness.

Overview
In 1972, Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine was giving a seminar at the University of California, Berkeley on dissipative structures or what he equivalently referred to as “self-organization through irreversible processes”, during the course of which Jantsch—who was also directing a eclectic business management group at Berkeley, comprised of members interested in topics such as shamanism, psychology economics, or Buddhism—sent one of his students to scout Prigogine’s seminar, after which Prigogine was invited to address Jantsch’s group, following which Jantsch began to see Prigogine’s work as the “missing link” that would help him centralize his own theory of “self-realization through self-transcendence”, as Jantsch put, into the form of a universal model. [6]

In 1975, Jantsch published Design for Evolution: Self-organization and Planning in the Life of Human Systems, discusses the second law of thermodynamics in the context of the Brownian motion of human molecules; an excerpt of which is as follows: [1]

“… dream of a pressure-free end state of maximum entropy in physical and social energy, in which action is neither possible nor necessary in any direction, only a kind of thermal (so-called Brownian) motion of the human "molecules" ...

In 1979, Jantsch gave his Gauthier lectures in “system science” at Berkeley,

In 1980, Jantsch, building on his Gauthier lectures, published his The Self-Organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications of the Emerging Paradigm of Evolution, wherein he attempts to unify cosmology, biology, sociology, psychology, and consciousness, around a mixture of evolution theory and dissipative structures theory. In short, he promulgated a melting pot ontic opening philosophy in regards to being and becoming within the confines of a physics-governed universe, which he exemplifies by the following:

“It becomes possible to view evolution as a complex, but holistic dynamic phenomenon of a universal unfolding or order which becomes manifest in many ways, as matter and energy, information and complexity, consciousness and self-reflexion. It is no longer necessary to assume a special life force—such as Bergson’s elan vital or prana of Hinduism—separate from the physical forces.”

Jantsch’s Self-organizing Universe is said to present a large exposition of the form of existence, common to life and non-life, structured around energy, entropy, dissipative structures; the gist views of which he summarized as follows: [3]

“I stress that neither physicalism nor vitalism play a role in [my theory]. For the life of me only the paradigm of self-organization is appropriate. I am committed to open. Despite the largely scientific content of [my theory] is humanistic in his outlook, because it is time to end the senseless separation of science and humanism. The relationships that I point out in my book are characterizable with slogans such as self-organization, coevolution, self-transcendence and creativity. From them, the image of an open, non-teleological (and not even teleonomic) evolution, the conditions at all levels is openness, and imbalance are autocatalytic self-reinforcing.”

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Influences
In 1985, after coming across Jantsch’s Self-organizing Universe, Swedish literature and science critic and humanism theorist Erland Lagerroth wound go on to write over ten books expanding on Jantsch’s viewpoint, including: Toward a New Science (1986), Beyond Darwin and DNA: A Non-mechanistic Biology (2004), Between Atoms and the Universe: or to Try to Understand the World We Live In (2010), among others. [4]

In 1995, American philosopher Ken Wilber published his Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: the Spirit of Evolution, which heavily cites Jantsch.

Education
In 1951, Jantsch completed his PhD at the University of Vienna, working thereafter, at various times, as an astronomer, physicist, engineer, management consultant, forecaster, conservationist, general systems theorist, evolutionary theorist, humanist, and philosopher.

Jantsch's original training was in astrophysics, but somewhere along the line he began to delve into the bigger problems of existence and therein began to build on the self-organization work of Ilya Prigogine and Hermann Haken in attempt to bridge the gap between science and humanism. Jantsch is often classified as belonging to the Prigogine school of thermodynamics, and was described as “Prigogine’s most famous disciple and interpreter.” [2]

Quotes | On
The following are quotes on Jantsch:

Jantsch (1975) and Capra (1982) find some stimulation in the pattern fit between the model of nature that is now emerging and that derived from mystical religions. Such correspondences may stimulate theory building, but I find them of little help in the present exercise.”
Richard Adams (1988), The Eighth Day (pg. 7)

References
1. Jantsch, Erich. (1975). Design for Evolution: Self-organization and planning in the Life of Human Systems (human molecules, pg. 35). G. Braziller.
2. (a) Ching-Yao, Hsieh, Ye, Meng-Hua. (1991). Economics, Philosophy, and Physics (pg. 127). M.E. Sharpe.
(b) Capra, Fritjof. (1988). Uncommon Wisdom: Conversations with Remarkable People (pg. 84). Simon & Schuster.
3. Jantsch, Erich. (1979). Self-organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications of the Emerging Paradigm of Evolution (thermodynamics, 10+ pgs). Hanser Verlag; English trans. Pergamon Press, 1980.
4. Lagerroth, Erland. (2009). “In the Beginning was the Process”, Aug. 11. Amazon.com Reviews.
5. (a) Jantsch, Erich. (1979). Self-organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications of the Emerging Paradigm of Evolution (pg. 307). Hanser Verlag; English trans. Pergamon Press, 1980.
(b) Hsieh, Ching-Yao, and Ye, Meng-Hua. (1991). Economics, Philosophy, and Physics (pg. 126). M.E. Sharpe.
6. Prigogine, Ilya. (1981). “Opening Note about Author” (Ѻ), in: The Evolutionary Vision: Toward a Unifying Paradigm of Physical, Biological, and Socio-Cultural Evolution (editor: Erich Jantsch). Westview Press.

Further reading
● Jantsch, Erich and Waddington, Conrad H. (1976). Evolution and Consciousness: Human Systems in Transition (thermodynamics, 8+ pgs). Addison-Wesley.
● Prigogine, Ilya. (1976). “Order Through Fluctuation: Self-Organization and Social Systems” in: Evolution and Consciousness: Human Systems in Transition (ch. 5, pgs. 93-134) edited by Erich Jantsch and Conrad Waddington. Addison-Wesley.
● Jantsch, Erich. (1981). The Evolutionary Vision: Toward a Unifying Paradigm of Physical, Biological, and Sociocultural Evolution. Westview Press.
Social Thermodynamics (Biplap Pal) – Yahoo Groups, Nov 29, 2004.

External links
Erich Jantsch – Wikipedia.

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