The framework presented here was inspired by, and aspires to be consistent with, David Deutsch’s Constructor Theory Deutsch’s Theory was created by and for physicists, including the requisite esoteric mathematical. Nevertheless, I have found it useful as a grounding basis for much of philosophy, including ontology, epistemology, teleology, causation, and Consciousness.
The basic premise of Constructor Theory is that all physical theories can be described in terms of which transformations of matter (processes or tasks) are possible, which are impossible, and why. For the purpose of the current framework, a “task” consists of an input configuration of matter (which can be described by a finite set of physical variables), an output configuration of matter (ditto), and a Constructor (which I will sometimes replace with the words Mechanism or Context) which performs the task by generating the output when presented with the input. While it’s possible to contemplate one-off processes which physically alter the system we call the Context or Mechanism, for our purposes here we (like Constructor Theorists) will be concerned entirely with tasks wherein the Constructor/Mechanism/Context remains essentially unchanged and able to repeat the task.
A task will typically be diagrammed as follows:
where x1, x2, etc. are the input variables and y1, y2, etc. are the output variables.
If Constructor Theory is true, then anything that happens, and anything that has happened, can be described in terms of tasks, because Constructor Theory purports to describe any physical transformation as possible or not, and clearly all physical transformations that have happened were possible ones.
One important implication which follows from this framework is that the outputs of transformations can become the inputs of other transformations. Mechanisms can be combined such that any regular network of tasks can be considered a new, higher level task with a new higher-level (super) Mechanism.
Thus, individual atoms can be considered Mechanisms, and certain combinations of such Mechanisms can be considered a super Mechanism. Note: the sub-Mechanisms are still Mechanisms in their own right.