The sum of interrelated characters, accumulated through time by former systems, which defines the basic structures and functions of a new system of the same kind.
Any archetype is a more or less abstract model, whose concept is Platonician in nature.
G. BATESON calls it a "genotype" and defines it as a "body of memories", as he refers himself basically to biological systems.(1973, p.287)
Nobody has ever given a definitive and rigorous explanation about the way archetypes become established. As to BATESON's "body of memories", F. DAVID PEAT connects in a hypothetical way Jungian psychoanalytical archetypes with the hierarchic structure of the brain which is "�often pictured as containing a series of evolutionary levels beginning with its primitive reptilian brain stem and working upward to the higher primate functions of the cortex. In addition, there are probably a number of evolutionary remnants present in the chemical pathways of the various neurotransmitters, peptides and other chemicals used in the brain" and while "such arguments contain more speculation than facts (they) suggest that the unconscious mind arises out from a more primitive layer of the brain which is not yet capable of secreting "higher" conscious thought" (1988, p.107).
It is anyhow undeniable that dogs engender dogs and cats, cats; and that such is the basement of identity and organizational closure in systems.
→ (see also: Ideal-type)
As explained by C. WADDINGTON, through his concept of epigenetic landscape.(1977), evolutive change of an archetype does never occur freely in a vacuum.
As a result of its archetypical inheritance, any organism is endowed with limited (even if within a considerable potential for adaptability)possibilities of development from its autogenesis on, and is thus able to construct itself only through a pre-constrained morphogenesis, in interaction with its environment.