Well said. A major critique of positivist social science which adapts the natural sciences’ approach to controlled experimentation is that it assumes closed systems. This is what permits ceteris paribus statements used in linear regression modeling of behavior, for example. But social interactions are probably not closed systems. They are more like complex systems without clear boundaries. In very narrow (temporal) contexts modeling these social interactions using closed systems might be useful though.

So to get back to your point, I think most information-based accounts of personhood do in fact take into account the introduction of energy into the (open) system. This is what counteracts the natural entropic-decay of living systems and keeps an organism living as a unitary, structured entity. For most of what exists on this planet, that energy might come from the sun, for instance. There’s a nice quote from Norbert Wiener discussing this process (I believe he was influenced by Erwin Schroedinger’s What is Life?) that I put in a post here:


Travis Greene. PhD Student in Business Analytics at the Institute of Service Science, National Tsing Hua University https://greenet09.github.io/datasophy/

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