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Portrait of Erich Jantsch

Erich Jantsch

Astrophysicist, Engineer, and Systems Theorist
January 8, 1929 – December 12, 1980

Erich Jantsch was an Austrian-born American astrophysicist, engineer, educator, author, consultant, and futurist especially known for his work in the social systems design movement in Europe in the 1970s. He lectured widely in Europe, North and South America, Near East and Japan, and was advisor to twenty governments, several international organizations and research institutes.

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Cover image for Evolution and Consciousness: Human Systems in Transition

Evolution and Consciousness: Human Systems in Transition

Evolution and Consciousness is one of the first, still rare, truly transdisciplinary books: it deals with a totality, not a sector of it. Therefore, it defies any disciplinary labeling. It is a scientific book, yet also deals with topics until now reserved for books of mysticism and poetry. It bridges the gap between science and other forms of knowledge. It deals not just with scientific questions, but with existential questions which concern all mankind, such as the meaning of life and the evolutionary significance of human design and action. It challenges the whole dominant Western world view: process thinking instead of structural thinking, dynamic instead of static, evolution instead of permanency.

Cover image for The Self-Organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications of the Emerging Paradigm of Evolution

The Self-Organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications of the Emerging Paradigm of Evolution

The evolution of the universe—ranging from cosmic and biological to sociocultural evolution—is viewed in terms of the unifying paradigm of self-organization. The contours of this paradigm emerge from the synthesis of a number of important concepts, and provide a scientific foundation to a new world-view which emphasizes process over structure, nonequilibrium over equilibrium, evolution over permanency, and individual creativity over collective stabilization. The book, with its emphasis on the interaction of microstructures with the entire biosphere, ecosystems etc., and on how micro- and macrocosmos mutually create the conditions for their further evolution, provides a comprehensive framework for a deeper understanding of human creativity in a time of transition.