Information and self-organization II: Steady state and phase transition

Hermann Haken, Juval Portugali*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This paper starts from Schrödinger’s famous question “what is life” and elucidates answers that invoke, in particular, Friston’s free energy principle and its relation to the method of Bayesian inference and to Synergetics 2nd foundation that utilizes Jaynes’ maximum entropy principle. Our presentation reflects the shift from the emphasis on physical principles to principles of information theory and Synergetics. In view of the expected general audience of this issue, we have chosen a somewhat tutorial style that does not require special knowledge on physics but familiarizes the reader with concepts rooted in information theory and Synergetics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number707
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Free energy principle
  • Maximum entropy principle
  • Pragmatic information
  • Synergetics
  • What is life


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