"Our march towards order " (Le Corbusier)
All great philosophical and theological systems have been built around the question of order and disorder, and they have all priveleged order over disorder.
For Claude Levi-Strauss, primitive thought is just as much based on the demand for order as is scientific thought, whose most basic postulate is that nature itself is orderly. For native thought, "all sacred things must have their place." Sacred objects contribute to the maintenance of order by occupying the places allocated to them. If they were taken out of their place, even in thought, the entire order of the universe would be destroyed. (The Savage Mind, p. 10) For Levi-Strauss, the aesthetic emotion is the result of a union "in miniature" in the work of art, between the structural order and the order of events.
"Science is any attempt to bring facts into logical order". B. Bavink
The Middle Ages, with its insistence on the rationality of God, formed one long training of the intellect of western Europe in the sense of order. (an order in which reason was inseparable from revelation) Thus faith in the possibility of science is an unconscious derivative from medieval theology. -- Alfred North Whitehead. (cf the role of monasteries in establishing social order.)
According to Kant, we make the principle of the unity of nature a regulative principle in order to judge nature to be so constructed that it corresponds to our needs for order. Thus the specific principle of Judgement is that "Nature specifies its universal laws into empirical laws in accordance with the form of a logical system on behalf of the faculty of Judgement." (see Critique of Judgement ) For Kant, form is "that which allows the manifold of appearance to be ordered in certain relations." (Critique of Pure Reason, section 1, 56)
The idea of space is an idea of order.
As we know it, dirt is essentially disorder. Dirt offends against order. Eliminating it is not a negative moment, but a positive effort to organise the environment. Rituals of purity and impurity create unity in experience. (Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger)
"Order is a kind of compulsion to repeat which, when a regulation has been laid down once and for all, decides when, where and how a thing shall be done, so that in every similar circumstance one is spared hesitation and indecision. The benefits of order are incontestable. It enables men to use space and time to the best advantage, while conserving their psychical forces." (Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, p.40) "The anal eroticism of young human beings...is changed in the course of their growth into a group of traits which are familiar to us as parsimony, a sense of order and cleanliness." (pp 43-4)
For Kurt Goldstein, the drive to overcome anxiety by the conquest of a piece of the world is expressed in the tendency towards order, norms, continuity, and homogeneity. (Goldstein, p. 238) Nonetheless, he rejects the notion that the "ordered" world of culture is the product of anxiety or as the sublimation of repressed drives, seeing it instead as expressions of the creative power of man and of the tendency to realize his nature, as a result of a primal tendency towards actualization. It was this idea of a lawful order realizing itself in nature, not imposed upon it by an ordering mind, and the search for the lawlike (das Gesetzliche) in the phenomena, that provided a model for the Gestaltpsychologists of the 20th century. The gestalt theorists attempted to introduce an aesthetic dimension of inherent order, meaning, and simplicity into the evaluation of scientific theories, and into the fabric of experience and nature itself. (Mitchell G. Ash, Gestalt Psychology in German Culture, 1890-1967, p.1)
It is important to distinguish between the order which is part of a project of control (what Lewis Mumford calls the 'will to order") and an " immanent," or " self-organizing" order, what Stuart Kaufman likes to call "order for free." In Chaos Bound, Katherine Hayles asserts that contemporary criticism sees order as potentially repressive and seeks to find its limits or to undermine it, whereas contemporary science is extending the concept of order to describe conditions that were previously understood as disordered (eg. chaos). In a cultural context, the concept of order has been increasingly identified with repression if not terror (eg. Foucault, Serres etc.) Yet for natural scientists the living world is characterized by overwhelming and beautiful order. To appeal to natural form is to change the valence of order, whether this is the emergent order of complex systems or the " phase beauty" of the lily-of-the-valley. Stuart Kaufman suggests that much of the order in organisms may not be the result of selection at all, but the spontaneous order of self-organized systems. "Order, vast and generative, arises naturally. ... not fought for against the entropictides, but freely available." (At Home in the Universe, p. 25)
see philosophy / chaos for some of the ambiguities of order and .
Natural processes always move towards an increase in disorder, which is measured by entropy. The second law of thermodynamics, which states that entropy can never decrease, is thus an argument for the irreversibility of time. From the beginning, it was thought that living organisms were a possible exemption from the Second Law. Kelvin referred to the power of the will in his 1852 essay entitled "On the Power of Animated Creatures over Matter" and suggested that "the animal body does not act as a thermo-dynamic engine."
" Natural selection operating on gratuitous random mutations is the sieve that retains order and lets chaos pass into oblivion...No idea derivative from Darwin lies deeper in our minds than this." (see evolution)
For Robert Venturi, "a valid order accomodates the circumstantial contradictions of a complex reality....When circumstances defy order, order should bend or break: anomalies and uncertainties give validity to architecture." Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, pp 46-47.)
Order is not the law of things but their exception. To speak of disorder in a rigorously disordered manner: a journey among intersections, nodes, and regionalizations. To conceive of knowledge not in terms of order and mastery, but in terms of chance and invention.
"Our march towards order " (Le Corbusier)