Metasystem Transition

A metasystem transition is the emergence, through evolution, of a higher level of organization or control. The concept of metasystem transition was introduced by the cybernetician Valentin Turchin in his 1977 book The Phenomenon of Science, and developed among others by Francis Heylighen in the Principia Cybernetica Project.

The classical sequence of metasystem transitions in the history of animal evolution, from the origin of animate life to sapient culture, has been defined by Valentin Turchin  :

  1. Control of Position = Motion
  2. Control of Motion = Irritability
  3. Control of Irritability = Reflex
  4. Control of Reflex = Association
  5. Control of Association = Thought
  6. Control of Thought = Culture