In this paper we propose a theory of logically open systems. These latter coincide with systems in metastable equilibrium with the environment, in which the system-environment interaction cannot be described, as a principle, without taking into account the inner state of the systems themselves. We introduce a particular hierarchy of these systems and we prove some results relative to the limitations encountered when dealing with them. We derive an undescribability principle which applies to logically open systems at the top of this hierarchy. Besides, we suggest a strategy for coping with these limitations and we sketch some possible applications of our theory to concrete cases. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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