Welcome to EmergentDesign.net

This site serves as a preview of the dissertation work of Kent Palmer, Ph.D. (See kentpalmer.info) for a thesis with the title The Foundations of Emergent Meta-systems Theory and Practice (this title may change) under the auspices of Defense and Systems Institute (DASI) [formerly Systems Engineering & Evaluation Center (SEEC)] at the University of South Australia. Everything on this site is copyrighted and not meant for distribution except for personal study and constructive critique for the enlightenment of the author in order to help him toward his research goal. 

Degree awarded 2009.12.17

For further information see ArchonicNet.

The adviser for this project is Dr. Tim Ferris.

Previous works


General Description of Research

Newer Short Version

The Foundations of Emergent Meta-systems Theory and Practice

Considers the role of a generalization of systems theory in systems engineering. That generalization of systems theory is called General Schemas Theory and Special Schemas Theory. It generalizes by considering the relation of the "systems" schema to other schemas like "form", "pattern", "openscape", "domain", etc. Emergent Meta-systems is a combination of the systems schema and the three special schemas into an emergent higher level construct which encompasses several schemas at the same time. These extensions to general systems theory have implications for the mathematical and philosophical foundations of Systems Engineering Theory and Practice. See research page at http://holonomic.net

Older Long Version

My research concerns The Foundations of Emergent Meta-systems Theory and Practice. In general it is aimed at what is called General Schemas Theory of which Systems Theory is one example. General Schemas Theory includes other kinds of schemas such as Pattern, Form, Meta-system, Domain, World, Kosmos as well as other schemas which are projected upon things in the world, especially in practical pursuits like the Systems Engineering Architectural Design Process. Special Systems are certain peculiar schemas that show up as emergent thresholds of organization between the System and Meta-systems schemas that have some unusual properties. There are three special systems called Dissipative Ordering, Autopoietic Symbiotic, and Reflexive Social. These together with the normal Systems Schema produce the Emergent Meta-system meta-schema complex. The research is ultimately directed at trying to understand better the Emergent Meta-system meta-schema. I am now involved in writing a series of working papers called the "Anti-Thesis" which is reviewing all the various schemas that I know of at this time. Once this review has been accomplished I intend to write another series of working papers called the "Thesis" which will explore the Special Systems in relation to this background. The emphasis is upon the philosophical and theoretical aspects of the schemas and their interrelations as well as their implications for practice. Then third series of working papers will hopefully be written called the "Synthesis" that will concentrate on the Emergent Meta-system. Previous efforts to attempt to understand this series of schemas can be viewed at http://archonic.net. The current research hopes to bring all of these schemas into greater focus and make them more accessible and clear to our understanding as a basis for extending Systems Theory and Engineering Practice to other schemas and thereby lay the foundations for understanding General Schemas theory and practice. It is hoped this work will lead to an as expansion of Systems Theory and Systems Engineering into a new horizon of theoretical sophistication and practical competence. At this time only about three schemas (pattern, form, system) are regularly used by practitioners. General Schemas theory would attempt to comprehend as many as possible of the available schemas developed in the scientific literature in response to various problems and phenomena. The goal is to understand schemas theory as a whole in itself and how that grounds our understanding of the various schemas. But further the goal is to understand the role of the Special Systems and the Emergent Meta-systems schemas within this context of General Schemas Theory. These special schemas have very strange and unique properties that deserve our theoretical attention. An analogy that might be of use is the relation of String Theory to the Standard Model in Physics. The attempt to develop a General Schemas Theory and its exploration of the Special Schemas and their interaction is like string theory in relation to the current practice in Systems Theory and Systems Engineering which is like the standard model of physics. In other words the goal is to stretch our understanding of Systems Theory as the basis of Systems Engineering as far as possible using postmodern philosophy and recent developments in systems theory and mathematics in order to get a glimmer of what the future of our discipline might be like.

Research Proposal circa 2003

Longer Explanation of Research Program circa 2006

Conceptual Map

Dissertation Online as of 2010.02.22

Working Papers

The working papers for this dissertation has these parts:

General Schemas Theory

Kent Palmer, Ph.D.

Beware -- This is an unedited draft.

Genealogy of General Schemas Theory


Man is the Measure

Plato and the Development of the Form Schema

Plato and the Problematic of Schematization

Plato and True Names

Plato and the Trauma of Names

Plato and the Names of the Gods

Plato and the Celestials

Plato and the Terrestrials

. . . unfinished commentary . . .

Foundations of General Schemas Theory

General Schemas Theory version published at CSER 2004

A Framework for Exploring General Systems Theory submitted to SETE 2004 accepted but not given

An Application to Systems Engineering of a Framework of General Schemas Theory submitted to CSER 2005

Negative Dimensionality and General Schemas Theory

Pascal Simplicies and General Schemas Theory

N-Category Theory and General Schemas Theory

Next Steps toward General Schemas Theory: An Interlude

The Metaphysics of Emergence and General Schemas Theory

Transformational Schematic Representation, Repetition, and Mimesis across Dimensions

A Dialectical, as well as Geometrical and Algebraic, Model of System and Meta-system Synergies. submitted to SETE 2004 accepted but not given

. . . finished . . .

Metaphysics of Emergence

A Strange Kind of Being Emerges

The Multilith of Being

Schemas Theory

Anti-thesis: The Individual Schemas

Systems Theory

Meta-systems Theory

Schemas Theory

World Theory

Pattern Theory

Form Theory

Domain Theory

Monad Theory

Facet Theory

Pluriverse Theory

Kosmos Theory

The Future and Past of Schemas Theory

. . . finished . . .

Special Schemas Theory as Nondual Science
Thesis: Special Systems
See also nondual.net or nondual-science.net

Nondual Science:

A Possible Nondual Renaissance within the Western Worldview

Nonduality and the Western Worldview:

Nondual Science in a Broader Context

Nondual Science Theory:

A Candidate Theory of a Nondual Science

The Anatomy of a Nondual Science Theory:

Looking Closer at the Theory of Special Systems

Theoretical Models and Images in Nondual Science:

Modern Theories and Ancient Images that Approximate the Model of Nondual Science and the other Open Horizons of Research

Mathematical and Physical Anomalies in Nondual Science:

Hypercomplex Algebras, Nonorientable Surfaces and other Anomalies

Emergent Meta-systems and Nondual Science:

Dynamics of the Special Systems and the production of Gaia

Schematization and Nondual Science
The Foundations of Holonomics

Nondual Science Heuristics
The basis for Traditional Sciences based on Nondual Science

The Future of Nondual Science

Horizons of Exploration within a World of Discovery

Thinking through Nonduality
An Exploration of the Foundations of Nonduality

Questioning the Terminology of Nonduality

An Exploration of the Foundations of Nonduality

A Framework for the Science of Nonduality (written)
Fundamentals of a Science of Nonduality

. . . finished . . .


A Critique of SysML from the point of view of General Schemas Theory submitted to CSER 2005

Beyond Dynamic Ontologies to N-ontologies and the foundations of
Emergence in Fundamental Ontology
accepted for Dynamic Ontology Conference

Self-Adaptation, Self-Organization and Special Systems Theory 

Quantum Games and Meta-systems Theory
end working papers for dissertation


Dissertation Draft 

Foundations of General Schemas Theory

Chapter 1. Introduction to the Foundations of General Schemas Theory

Chapter 2. Prolegomena to any Future General Schemas Theory

Chapter 3. Mathematical Foundations of General Schemas Theory

Chapter 4. Schematization of the Schemas in the Meta-schematic Field 

Chapter 5. Higher Synergetics and Syzygies of the Meta-Schematic Field 

Chapter 6. Theory of the Microgenesis of Schemas 

Chapter 7. Negative Metan-dimensionality 

Chapter 8. The Genesis of the Schemas from the Singularity in the Meta-system 

Chapter 9. Worldview Structure and Spacetime Symmetries and Asymmetries 

Chapter 10. Conceptualization and the Meta2-worldview (Meta-knot) field 

Chapter 11. Afoundationalism in Schemas Theory 

. . . finished . . .



final version

Emergent Design

Explorations in Systems Phenomenology in relation to Ontology, Hermeneutics and the Meta-dialectics of Design

  Direct Link to Dissertation if School Link does not work

This dissertation draft corrected and revised has been accepted by the Readers as the culmination of this research project . 

The final version was dated 9/28/2009 at the time of acceptance. 

Corrections where submitted 11/9/2009 (v75 CD5d). 

Degree award December 17 2009


. . . finished . . .


Occasional Papers

Autonomic Systems and Speical Systems Theory

Ontological and Knowledge Emergent Engineering of Systems and Meta-systems based on General Schemas Theory

Radical Knowledge Discovery and Emergence

The Ontology of Design

A Critique of SysML from the point of view of General Schemas Theory

SCPTLS Conference 2011

Society for Chaos in Psychology and the Life Sciences

Special Systems Theory briefing (ppt) (pdf)

Special Systems Theory talk (mp3)

CSER 2011

Reworking the Integral System Engineering Method Domain Specific Languages paper

Integral Systems Engineering Methodology briefing

conference: talk mp3
podcast: tutorial mp3


Meta-systems, Complexity and Emergence .ppt

talk mp3

Emergence and Complexity in relation to General Schemas Theory

The Failure of Systems Engineering as an approach toward Complex Adaptive Systems in our major Customer’s Eyes:
Analysis of the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations and its relation to Meta-systems Theory  



Exploring Intelligent Entreprise System Limitations (accepted)

Briefing .PPT

Talk .MP3

Toward an Intelligent Military Enterprise: 
An Introduction to an Approach to Joint Forces based on Meta-systems Theory

The Evolving Joint Perspective and Meta-systems Theory: 
A Case Study based on the Joint Vision Document (accepted)


CSER 2005

CSER 2005 final paper (pdf)

CSER Briefing (ppt)

CSER Talk (mp3) (wav)

INCOSE LA Mini 2005 Conference Presentation of Same Talk

Proposed "Integral Systems Engineering Methodology" Architectural Design Language pdf

CSER Conference April 15 & 16 2004 Draft Presentations and Papers

See http://www.usc.edu/dept/engineering/cser/

Final version E of General Schemas Theory short paper MSWord

Preliminary version General Schemas Theory short paper MSWord

General Schemas Theory long paper MSWord

Comments on Paper by Anonymous Readers

Final thirteenth version for CSER Presentation Power Point -- Presented at Conference Short Version

Audio presentation of talk at conference MP3 WAV

Report on the aftermath of a conversation:

Towards a Possible Approach to Metasystems as Escapements :

On a Simple Geometrical and Algebraic Representation of Emergence pdf

which led to . . .

A Dialectical, as well as Geometrical and Algebraic, Model of System and Meta-system synergies. submitted to SETE 2004 late

end draft of occasional papers

ISSS Conference July 4th thru July 9th 2004

See ISSS.org

Final Papers:

From General Systems Theory to General Schemas Theory .doc

Conference Talk .mp3

Presentation .ppt

Science and the Metaphysics of Emergence .doc

Conference Talk .mp3

Presentation .ppt

end ISSS 2004 papers

Dynamic Ontology Sept. 2004 Trinto Italy

See http://www.unitn.it/events/do/

Conference Talk .mp3

Presentation .ppt

Kent Palmer


For more information write to 

See ArchonicNet or DialogNet or ThinkNet or Nondual.net