On the Logical Fallacy of Altshuller's Law of Transition to Super-System

Y. B. Karasik,
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.
e-mail:karasik@sympatico.ca

Altshuller proposed the law of transition to supersystem:

The question immediately arises: what super-system it gets incorporated into ? The super-system of that system ? But it is already incorparted into it (if such a super-system already exists) ! The super-system of another system ? Then why call it "super" ? For the system that is being incorporated, it is just another system ! There is no need to call it "super" because all systems are "super" for something and the system that is getting incorporated is also "super" for its own sub-systems !

What is more important, however, is that systems regularly get incorporated as sub-systems into other systems and for that to happen they do not have to exhaust all avenues of their improvement. Simply someone has to wish to incorporate them.

Thus, the only possibility that remains is that a system gets incorporated as a sub-system into a new system. But even then it is much less confusing to call this law "The Law of Incorporating a System As a Sub-system Into a New System":

But again, to be incorporated into a new system as a sub-system, a system does not have to exhaust all avenues of improvement. Systems at any stage of their evolution get incorporated into new systems on the regular basis. May be to save the law we have to say that

But even in this wording I have many doubts about the law. For example, aircraft piston engines exhausted all avenues of improvement but were not incorporated into any system other than airplanes, into which they were already incorporated. But their icon, propeller, got incorporated into a more advanced type of engines, namely, turbo-prop engines. Thus, in pursuit of saving the law we can try and modify it as follows:

Whether this is true or false is beyond the scope of this article. But what is certain is that systems get incorporated into other systems as sub-systems in order to start working. For example, automobile gets incorporated into the super-system of automobile + driver, hammer gets incorporated into the super-system of hammer + carpenter, etc. However, for this types of incorporations system need not exhaust all avenues of its improvement. May be the law has to be re-formulated as follows: