Apithology of Humanity Psychology: Humanity as a Generative System


  • Will Varey


general systems, health, apithology, autopoiesis


The systems discipline of apithology was established to look specifically at the wellbeing of the humanity system. Being a systems theory of generative dynamics it provides the potential for a different research focus in the field of human systems. It looks for systemic outcomes for human health and offers a counterpart perspective to the mitigation of problems. This enables a generativist approach to the complex challenge of governance for humanitarian outcomes. This paper comprises an introduction to the application of apithology theory and practice to humanity psychology.

While apithology theory can be applied to many forms of generative systems, its greatest value is possibly in its application to the formation of human motivations. This involves the analysis of dynamic tensions in systems of conceptions. This form of human systems inquiry illuminates the changing capacities of human conceptions across varied human contexts. The result is a systems discipline for the ethical care of the generative potentials necessary for humanity-scale wellbeing.

In this paper the distinction between generative and dissipative dynamics is clarified. The tensions involved in the formation, continuation and actuation of systems of conceptions are described. This is done using the systems principles of autopoietic systems, purposive systems and complex systems. The delineation of three systemic dimensions comprising coherence, orientation and integration is made and the effects of their interactions explained.

From this analysis the basis for a generativist approach to the health of humanity-scale systems is proposed. The generation of an apithology triptych is demonstrated. This is used to illustrate three forms of systemic health as a focus for the enablement of humanity’s capacity for adaptability. The practical challenges and ethics of practice, as well as the abilities of practitioners in this field, are also mentioned. The paper concludes with a description of the governance challenges for the wellbeing of a future humanity. 

Author Biography

Will Varey




How to Cite

Varey, W. (2017). Apithology of Humanity Psychology: Humanity as a Generative System. Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2015 Berlin, Germany, 1(1). Retrieved from https://journals.isss.org/index.php/proceedings59th/article/view/2567