Part 1.: Arthur Koestler on «Aufheben» ‘Meta-holon-ic’ Dialectics
[but using different nomenclature].
In his influential 1967 book entitled The Ghost in the Machine, Arthur Koestler sets forth a universal principle -- not just a human-social developmental principle -- of [meta-]evolution, and of ‘ontology self-expansion’, which is essentially the same as the universal principle that is key to the interpretation and solution of so many of the applied dialectical ‘meta-equations’ formulated via the Seldonian ‘First Arithmetic for Dialectics’, and via its dialectical algebra, per the Seldonian ‘Algorithmic-Heuristic Universal Dialectical Method’.
The Seldonian term for this principle of ‘meta-evolution’ is ‘«aufheben» meta-unit-ization dialectic.’
Its ‘‘‘vertical’’’ aspect is the systematic presentation of a co-extant, co-present, or synchronic ‘finitary qualo-fractal content-structure’, which is an ‘«aufheben» multi-meta-monad-ic, multi-meta-ontic cumulum’.
Its ‘‘‘horizontal’’’ aspect is the reconstruction of the history of a successive, progressing, diachronic, ‘finitary qualo-fractal’ temporal sequence, which is a ‘recurrent «aufheben» meta-monad-ization historical process, progressively forming and accumulating an ‘«aufheben» multi-meta-monad-ic, multi-meta-ontic cumulum’.
Arthur Koestler opens chapter III of his book -- the chapter entitled, simply “THE HOLON” -- with an all too apt quote from Lancelot Law Whyte: “I ask the reader to remember that what is most obvious may be most worth[y] of analysis. Fertile vistas may open out when commonplace facts are examined from a fresh point of view.”
Indeed, a universal principle -- a «genos» quality, in- common to diverse myriads of qualitatively different , ontologically-different «speci»-al cases, may, because of its very universality, be noticed, episodically, in various specific contexts, and yet its full ‘«gene»-ricity’ may go un-noticed and un-noted for eons.
How many language-groups exhibited different words for the generic numerosity that we, today, name “three”, depending upon, e.g., whether three people, three birds, or three bees were being languaged?
Such was also the case with the discernment of the ‘«gene»-rality’ of the ‘«aufheben» meta-monad-ization process’ as the key to grasping, and to mathematically, ideographically formulating, a single and singular, ‘recurrently self-involutionary Dialectic
s of Nature’. This discernment,
as far as we
April 1996 C.E./B.U.E., via
Thus, in his “Appendix I” to The Ghost in the Machine, Arthur Koestler addresses this universal principle using a nomenclature of “holons” and of the “open
The noxious nature of human-social “hierarchy”, Koestler, as a capitalist ideologue, is wont to retro-project back upon all of ‘pre-human Nature’, as well as to project it upon all of contemporaneous ‘exo-human Nature’, thereby prochronistically overburdening and overloading those ontologies with all of the vicious, violent, oppressive, exploitative, pathological and perverted, sado-masochistic connotations of this excrescence of the class-society phase of human-social development-in-alienation, seeking thereby to subliminally justify an eternality of human-social hierarchy, i.e., of class despotism, in the subconscious minds of his victim-readers, by this bogus imprimatur of the purported ‘naturality’ and “universality” of “hierarchy”.
Therefore, we will not follow him in this ideological gambit. Instead, in quoting him below, we will substitute our own terms, in square brackets, whenever he launches into his morbid mantras mouthing and lauding the ruling class hope for the eternality of their despotic
Appendix I: GENERAL
[QUALITIES] OF OPEN [‘FINITARY QUALO-FRACTAL’] SYSTEMS...
“I.I The organism in its structural aspects is not an aggregation of elementary parts, and in its functional aspects not a chain of elementary units of behaviour.”
“I.2 The organism is to be regarded as a multi-levelled
hierarchy [finitary multi-scaled
qualo-fractal] of semi-autonomous sub-wholes, branching into sub-wholes of
a lower order [of sequentially smaller scales] and
so on. Sub-wholes on any level of the
hierarchy [this scales-regress qualo-fractal] are referred to as
“I.3 Parts and wholes in an absolute sense do not exist... . The concept of the holon is intended to reconcile the atomistic and holistic approaches.”
“I.4 Biological holons are self-regulating open systems which display both the autonomous
[qualities] of wholes and the dependent properties [qualities] of
parts. This dichotomy [F.E.D.: what we call an ‘intra-duality’, ‘self-duality’, or
‘self-antithesis’] is present on every level [qualo-fractal scale] of
every type of hierarchic [qualo-fractal] organization, and
is referred to as the Janus Effect or Janus principle [F.E.D.: a special
case of what we call ‘the universal principle of ineluctable self-duality as
the cause of dialectic’].”
“I.5 More generally, the term ‘holon’ may be applied to any
stable [temporally and temporarily recurrent] biological or social [F.E.D.: or pre-biological]
sub-whole which displays rule- governed behaviour [F.E.D.: which exhibits recurrent patterns of actions
‘formulable’ as “rules”] and/or structural
Gestalt- constancy [temporally and temporarily
recurrent content-structure]. Thus, organelles and homologous organs are
evolutionary holons [F.E.D.:
holon is a [meta-] evolutionary holon, in either a diachronic
or a synchronic sense, or, in many cases, in both senses]; ...;
phonemes, morphemes, words, phrases are linguistic holons [F.E.D.: a more
coherent synchronic holons categories-series here might be letters,
syllables, words, phrases/clauses, sentences, paragraphs, ...]; individuals,
families, tribes, nations are [human-]social holons [F.E.D.: a more
coherent synchronic holons categories-series here might be families,
neighborhoods, districts, municipalities, counties, provinces (:states” in the
U.S.), regions, nation-states...; a more coherent diachronic holons
categories-series here might be single-family bands, multi-family camps,
villages, multi-village chiefdoms, multi-chiefdom/multi-tribe city-states,
multi-city-state empires,... . Koestler,
as many others, tends to mix-up the two; to conflate synchronic
‘qualo-fractal finite series’ and/with diachronic ‘qualo-fractal finite series’].
“3.7 Structurally, the mature organism is a
hierarchy [an iterated «aufheben» content-structure]
of parts within parts. ...”
“5.6 A holon on the n level of an output-
qualo-fractal] is represented on the n + 1 level as a unit, and triggered into
action as a unit. A holon, in other
words, is a system of relata which is represented on the next higher
level as a relatum.” [color and
underline emphases added by F.E.D.].
As we have noted here in earlier blog-entries, e.g., in --
-- a ‘dialectical [i.e., an iterated «aufheben] cumulum’ is not, in general, a “hierarchy”. But here, once again, we see that there may be special cases of human-social, e.g., ‘class-social’, ‘multi-meta-monadic cumula’, within which ‘‘‘horizontal’’’ interactions are suppressed, and within which egalitarian tendencies are forcibly minimized, which are, indeed, authoritarian, dictatorial, perverted and pathological -- sado-masochistic -- human-social hierarchies.
Yet even, at least formally, in a capitalist, representative-democratic republic -- however often ‘‘‘honored, actually, in the breach’’’ -- the “lowest” level of authority in the “hierarchy” of governmental power, that of the citizenry; of the, largely proletarianized, wage-laboring [i.e., self-selling, or ‘self-alienating’], relatively-impoverished people at large -- may, on its own, independent initiative, over-rule and topple the “highest” level of authority in that “hierarchy” of governmental power, e.g., the presidency, by voting the president out of office in the next election.
FYI: Much of the work of Karl Seldon, and of his collaborators, including work by “yours truly”, is available for your free-of-charge download via --
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Officer, F.E.D. Office of Public Liaison