Scale Free Abstraction

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Scale-free abstractions are a specific type of Shorthand Abstractions: highly general concepts taken from our best current thinking about evolution, cognition, and the world as a hierarchy of systems. They can be used to describe systems on all scales or levels of Causal Emergence, which helps us Move up and down in the system hierarchy.Scale-free abstractions are similar to Daniel Dennett’s “tools for thinking” (Dennett 2013), which are also re-usable cognitive tools, but less metaphorical and more systematic. They are related to Boisot & McKelvey’s “scale-free theories of nature” (Boisot & McKelvey 2010, 427), which are more concrete – some of our scale-free abstractions figure as components in these theories. Taken together, the abstractions are practically co-extensive with Manuel DeLanda’s topological, intensive, and population thinking (DeLanda 2002).

An initial set of scale-free abstractions are the following:

We should Replace Sensemaking Frameworks with Scale-free Abstractions because they are more effective Heuristic Devices for Sensemaking.