In reading a recent dialog in an IEEE Autonomous Mental Development newsletter, they are discussing the principles vs. black art of developmental robotics. I tend to think of it as a question:
Do you want to focus more on creating intelligent robots or on understanding the details of intelligent beings actually operate? Both are meaningful questions, but principles of self-organization are not necessarily the same as the principles used in the end by a self-organized system. These topics sometimes get blurred, I think.
But principles perhaps can be found in relation to either question. So maybe I blurred the original topic myself.