System Boundary

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A System boundary is topologically defined as the set of system components which have connections both to other system elements and to its Environment.

This means a system boundary does not need to be “a smooth manifold (line or surface) including all the elements of the system” – it can be “fuzzy”Bunge 1992, 215


It also allows for the fact that “the organizational boundaries of living systems are open and flexible”Kirchhoff et al. (2018), 9

and the interpretation of a system as a processThis aligns a Friston-informed systems view with Stacey’s Complex Responsive Processes of Relating (Stacey 2006).

or “temporally extended whole”Kirchhoff et al. (2018), 9

which lives in a state space .

A system boundary can be described as a Markov Blanket.