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Encyclopedia > Systems theory

Systems theory is an interdisciplinary field of science. It studies the nature of complex systems in nature, society, and science. More specificially, it is a framework by which one can analyze and/or describe any group of objects that work in concert to produce some result. This could be a single organism, any organization or society, or any electro-mechanical or informational artifact. While systems concepts had long been used in sociology and the area is often associated with cybernetics, systems theory as a technical and general academic area of study predominantly refers to the science of systems that resulted from Bertalanffy's General System Theory (GST), among others, in initiating what became a project of systems research and practice. It was Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson that developed interdisciplinary perspectives in systems theory (such as positive and negative feedback in the social sciences). Interdisciplinary work is that which integrates concepts across different disciplines. ... Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... There are many definitions of complexity, therefore many natural, artificial and abstract objects or networks can be considered to be complex systems, and their study (complexity science) is highly interdisciplinary. ... “Natural” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... For other uses, see Cybernetics (disambiguation). ... Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy (September 19, 1901, Vienna, Austria - June 12, 1972, New York, USA) was a biologist who was a founder of general systems theory--which he literally translated from the mathematization of Nicolai Hartmanns Ontology as stated by himself in his seminal work-- .An Austrian citizen, he... Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901, Philadelphia – November 15, 1978, New York City) was an American cultural anthropologist. ... Gregory Bateson (9 May 1904–4 July 1980) was a British anthropologist, social scientist, linguist and cyberneticist whose work intersected that of many other fields. ...

Contents

Overview

Margaret Mead was an influential figure in systems theory.
Margaret Mead was an influential figure in systems theory.

Ideas from systems theory have grown with diversified areas, exemplified by the work of Béla H. Bánáthy, ecological systems with Howard T. Odum, Eugene Odum and Fritjof Capra, organizational theory and management with individuals such as Peter Senge, interdisciplinary study with areas like Human Resource Development from the work of Richard A. Swanson, and insights from educators such as Debora Hammond. As a transdisciplinary, interdisciplinary and multiperspectival domain, the area brings together principles and concepts from ontology, philosophy of science, physics, computer science, biology, and engineering as well as geography, sociology, political science, psychotherapy (within family systems therapy) and economics among others. Systems theory thus serves as a bridge for interdisciplinary dialogue between autonomous areas of study as well as within the area of systems science itself. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2780x2120, 568 KB) (This summary was created using Commons SumItUp) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Margaret Mead ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2780x2120, 568 KB) (This summary was created using Commons SumItUp) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Margaret Mead ... Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901, Philadelphia – November 15, 1978, New York City) was an American cultural anthropologist. ... Béla H. Bánáthy (Gyula, Hungary December 1, 1919- Chico, California, 4 September 2003), was an Hungarian linguist and systems scientist. ... Howard Thomas Odum (1924-2002), commonly known as H.T. Odum or Tom Odum, was an eminent American ecosystem ecologist and a professor at the University of Florida. ... Eugene Pleasants Odum (1913-2002) was an American scientist known for his pioneering work on ecosystem ecology. The average schoolchild of today knows that humans (along with other life forms) depend on adequate conditions of food, water, and shelter from inclement elements, for instance, and also that weather, geological, and... Dr. Fritjof Capra – photo by Kate Mount Fritjof Capra (born February 1, 1939) is an Austrian-born American physicist. ... Organizational Studies (also known as Industrial Organizations, Organizational Behavior and I/O) is a distinct field of academic study which takes as its subject organizations, examining them using the methods of economics, sociology, political science, anthropology, and psychology. ... For other uses, see Management (disambiguation). ... Peter Michael Senge was the Director of the Center for Organizational Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and is presently (2005) on the faculty at MIT. He is the founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL). ... Human Resource Development (HRD) is the use of training, organizational development, and career development efforts to improve individual, group, and organizational efficiency to mobilize workforce. ... Debora Hammond down the Green River in Canyonlands National Park Debora Hammond is an American systems theorist, working as an Associate Professor professor Interdisciplinary Studies of the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at the Sonoma State University. ... This article is about ontology in philosophy. ... Philosophy of science is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of science, especially in the natural sciences and social sciences. ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. ... Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology (from Greek: βίος, bio, life; and λόγος, logos, knowledge), also referred to as the biological sciences, is the study of living organisms utilizing the scientific method. ... Engineering is the applied science of acquiring and applying knowledge to design, analysis, and/or construction of works for practical purposes. ... Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge) is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Political Science is the field concerning the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behaviour. ... Psychotherapy is an interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living. ... Family therapy (or family systems therapy) is a branch of psychotherapy that treats family problems. ... ‹ The template below is being considered for deletion. ...


In this respect, with the possibility of misinterpretations, Bertalanffy [1] believed a general theory of systems “should be an important regulative device in science,” to guard against superficial analogies that “are useless in science and harmful in their practical consequences.” Others remain closer to the direct systems concepts developed by the original theorists. For example, Ilya Prigogine, of the Center for Complex Quantum Systems at the University of Texas, Austin, has studied emergent properties, suggesting that they offer analogues for living systems. The theories of Autopoiesis of Francisco Varela and Humberto Maturana are a further development in this field. Important names in contemporary systems science at the dusk of the Cold War include Russell Ackoff, Bela Banathy, Stanford Beer, Mandy Brown, Peter Checkland, Robert Flood, Fritjof Capra, Michael Jackson, and Werner Ulrich, among others. Ilya Prigogine (Russian: Илья́ Рома́нович Приго́жин) (January 25, 1917 – May 28, 2003) was a Belgian physicist and chemist noted for his work on dissipative structures, complex systems, and irreversibility. ... The Center for Complex Quantum Systems[1] is a research institute within the Department of Physics of The University of Texas at Austin in the United States. ... A termite cathedral mound produced by a termite colony: a classic example of emergence in nature. ... Analogy is both the cognitive process of transferring information from a particular subject (the analogue or source) to another particular subject (the target), and a linguistic expression corresponding to such a process. ... For other uses, see Life (disambiguation). ... Look up Autopoiesis in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Francisco Varela (Santiago, September 7, 1946 – May 28, 2001, Paris) was a Chilean biologist and philosopher who, together with his teacher Humberto Maturana, is best known for introducing the concept of autopoiesis to biology. ... Humberto Maturana (born September 14, 1928 in Santiago) is a Chilean biologist whose work crosses over into philosophy and cognitive science. ... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... Russell Lincoln Ackoff (born 12 February 1919) is a Professor Emeritus of the Wharton School in operations research and systems theory. ... Béla H. Bánáthy (Gyula, Hungary December 1, 1919- Chico, California, 4 September 2003), was an Hungarian linguist and systems scientist. ... Anthony Stafford Beer (September 25, 1926 - August 23, 2002) was a British theorist, academic, and consultant, best known for his work in the fields of operational research and management cybernetics. ... British academic Peter Checkland is the developer of soft-systems methodology (SSM) in the field of systems thinking. ... Dr. Fritjof Capra – photo by Kate Mount Fritjof Capra (born February 1, 1939) is an Austrian-born American physicist. ...


With the modern foundations for a general theory of systems following the World Wars, Ervin Laszlo, in the preface for Bertalanffy's book Perspectives on General System Theory, maintains that the translation of "general system theory" from German into English has "wroth a certain amount of Havoc" [2]. The preface explains that the original concept of a general system theory was "Allgemeine Systemtheorie (or Lehre)," pointing out the fact that "Theorie" (or "Lehre") just as "Wissenschaft" (translated Scholarship), "has a much broader meaning in German than the closest English words ‘theory’ and ‘science'" [3]. With these ideas referring to an organized body of science and "any systematically presented set of concepts, whether they are empirical, axiomatic, or philosophical," "Lehre" is associated with theory and science in the etymology of general systems, but also does not translate from the German very well; "teaching" is the closest equivalent [4]. While many of the root meanings for the idea of a “general systems theory” might have been lost in the translation and many were led to believe that the theorists had nothing but articulated a pseudoscience, systems theory became a nomenclature that early investigators used to describe the interdependence of relationships in organization by defining a new way of thinking about science and scientific paradigms. Dr. Ervin Laszlo is a Hungarian philosopher of science, systems theorist, integral theorist, founder of the Club of Budapest, and editor of World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution. ... Look up translate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A central concept in science and the scientific method is that all evidence must be empirical, or empirically based, that is, dependent on evidence or consequences that are observable by the senses. ... In mathematics, an axiomatic theory is one based on axioms. ... Philosophy (from the Greek words philos and sophia meaning love of wisdom) is understood in different ways historically and by different philosophers. ... Lehre is a village and a municipality in the district of Helmstedt, in Lower Saxony, Germany. ... A typical 18th century phrenology chart. ... Nomenclature refers to a method of assigning (unique) names. ... Bold text Not to be confused with interconnectivity. ... An organisation (or organization — see spelling differences) is a social arrangement which pursues collective goals, which controls its own performance, and which has a boundary separating it from its environment. ...


A system from this frame of reference is composed of regularly interacting or interrelating groups of activities. For example, in noting the influence in organizational psychology as the field evolved from “an individually oriented industrial psychology to a systems and developmentally oriented organizational psychology,” it was recognized that organizations are complex social systems; reducing the parts from the whole reduces the overall effectiveness of organizations [5]. This is at difference to conventional models that center on individuals, structures, departments and units separate in part from the whole instead of recognizing the interdependence between groups of individuals, structures and processes that enable an organization to function. Laszlo [6] explains that the new systems view of organized complexity went "one step beyond the Newtonian view of organized simplicity" in reducing the parts from the whole, or in understanding the whole without relation to the parts. The relationship between organizations and their environments became recognized as the foremost source of complexity and interdependence. In most cases the whole has properties that cannot be known from analysis of the constituent elements in isolation. Bela H. Banathy, who argued - along with the founders of the systems society - that “the benefit of humankind” is the purpose of science, has made significant and far-reaching contributions to the area of systems theory. For the Primer Group at ISSS, Banathy defines a perspective that iterates this view: For other uses, see System (disambiguation). ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Industrial psychology is the psychology that deals with the workplace, focusing on both the workers and the organizations that employ them. ... Industrial and organizational psychology (or I/O psychology) is also known as occupational psychology (in the United Kingdom) and work psychology (from the German, Arbeitpsychologie). ... Social structure is a term frequently used in sociology and more specifically in social theory — yet rarely defined or clearly conceptualised (Jary and Jary 1991, Abercrombie et al 2000). ... Bela H. Banathy is a founder of the White Stag Program for Scouts, Professor Emeritus at Saybrook Graduate School and President of the International Systems Institute. ...

The systems view is a world-view that is based on the discipline of SYSTEM INQUIRY, Central to systems inquiry is the concept of SYSTEM. In the most general sense, system means a configuration of parts connected and joined together by a web of relationships. The Primer group defines system as a family of relationships among the members acting as a whole. Bertalanffy defined system as "elements in standing relationship." [7]

Similar ideas are found in learning theories that developed from the same fundamental concepts, emphasizing that understanding results from knowing concepts both in part and as a whole. In fact, Bertalanffy’s organismic psychology paralleled the learning theory of Jean Piaget (Bertalanffy 1968). Interdisciplinary perspectives are critical in breaking away from industrial age models and thinking where history is history and math is math segregated from the arts and music separate from the sciences and never the twain shall meet [8]. The influential contemporary work of Peter Senge [9] provides detailed discussion of the commonplace critique of educational systems grounded in conventional assumptions about learning, including the problems with fragmented knowledge and lack of holistic learning from the "machine-age thinking" that became a "model of school separated from daily life." It is in this way that systems theorists attempted to provide alternatives and an evolved ideation from orthodox theories with individuals such as Max Weber, Emile Durkheim in sociology and Frederick Winslow Taylor in scientific management, which were grounded in classical assumptions [10]. The theorists sought holistic methods by developing systems concepts that could be integrated with different areas. Jean Piaget [] (August 9, 1896 – September 16, 1980) was a Swiss philosopher, natural scientist and developmental psychologist, well known for his work studying children, his theory of cognitive development and for his epistemologic view called genetic epistemology. He created in 1955 the International Centre for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva and... Industrialisation (or industrialization) or an industrial revolution (in general, with lowercase letters) is a process of social and economic change whereby a human society is transformed from a pre-industrial to an industrial state . ... History studies time in human terms. ... Incorrect shortening of Mathematics. ... The Arts is a broad subdivision of culture, comprised of many expressive disciplines. ... For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... For the scientific journal named Science, see Science (journal). ... For the politician, see Max Weber (politician). ... David Émile Durkheim (April 15, 1858 - November 15, 1917) is known as the founder of modern sociology. ... Frederick Winslow Taylor Frederick Winslow Taylor (March 20, 1856 to March 21, 1915) was an American mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. ... Scientific management, also called Taylorism or the Classical Perspective, is a method in management theory which determines changes to improve labour productivity. ...


The contradiction of reductionism in conventional theory (which has as its subject a single part) is simply an example of changing assumptions. The emphasis with systems theory shifts from parts to the organization of parts, recognizing interactions of the parts are not "static" and constant but "dynamic” processes. Conventional closed systems were questioned with the development of open systems perspectives. The shift was from absolute and universal authoritative principles and knowledge to relative and general conceptual and perceptual knowledge [11], still in the tradition of theorists that sought to provide means in organizing human life. Meaning, the history of ideas that preceded were rethought not lost. Mechanistic thinking was particularly critiqued, especially the industrial-age mechanistic metaphor of the mind from interpretations of Newtonian mechanics by Enlightenment philosophers and later psychologists that laid the foundations of modern organizational theory and management by the late 19th century [12]. Classical science had not been overthrown, but questions arose over core assumptions that historically influenced organized systems, within both social and technical sciences. Descartes held that non-human animals could be reductively explained as automata — De homines 1622. ... In thermodynamics, a closed system, as contrasted with an isolated system, can exchange heat and work, but not matter, with its surroundings. ... This article is about systems theory. ... Look up absolute in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Kinship is a biological and/or familial relationship between two organisms. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A concept is an abstract, universal psychical entity that serves to designate a category or class of entities, events or relations. ... In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ... The history of ideas is a field of research in history that deals with the expression, preservation, and change of human ideas over time. ... This article is about metaphor in literature and rhetoric. ... Interpretation is the process establishing, either simultaneously (known as simultaneous interpretation) or consecutively (known as consecutive interpretation), oral or gestural communications between two or more speakers who are not able to use the same set of symbols (see interpreting). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Classical mechanics. ... The Enlightenment (French: ; German: ) was an eighteenth-century movement in European and American philosophy, or the longer period including the Age of Reason. ...


History

TIMELINE

Whether considering the first systems of written communication with Phoenician cuneiform to Mayan numerals, or the feats of engineering with the Egyptian pyramids, systems thinking in essence dates back to antiquity. Differentiated from Western rationalist traditions of philosophy, C. West Churchman often identified with the I Ching as a systems approach sharing a frame of reference similar to pre-Socratic philosophy and Heraclites [13]. Bertalanffy traced systems concepts to the philosophy of G.W. von Leibniz and Nicholas of Cusa’s Coincidentia Oppositorum. While modern systems are considerably more complicated, today’s systems are embedded in history. For other persons named Herbert Spencer, see Herbert Spencer (disambiguation). ... Nicolai Hartmann (February 20, 1882 – October 9, 1950) was a German philosopher. ... Vilfredo Pareto Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto [vilfre:do pare:to] (July 15, 1848, Paris – August 19, 1923, Geneva) was a French-Italian sociologist, economist and philosopher. ... David Émile Durkheim (April 15, 1858 - November 15, 1917) is known as the founder of modern sociology. ... Alexander Bogdanov (1873 - 1928) was a Russian physician, philosopher, economist, writer, and revolutionary. ... Tectology is a term coined by Alexander Bogdanov (1873-1928), scientist, philosopher, economist, physician, novelist, poet, and Marxist revolutionary, unknown to almost everyone except for the experts in Russian science history. ... Robert Maynard Hutchins (January 17, 1899, Brooklyn, New York - May 17, 1977, Santa Barbara, California) was a philosopher. ... The ten Macy Conferences between 1946 and 1953 were the first organised approach to interdisciplinarity, spawning breakthroughs in systems theory and leading to the foundation of what later was to be known as cybernetics. ... Norbert Wiener Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894, Columbia, Missouri – March 18, 1964, Stockholm Sweden) was an American theoretical and applied mathematician. ... William Ross Ashby (September 6, 1903, London, England - November 15, 1972) was a British psychiatrist and a pioneer in the study of complex systems. ... Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy (September 19, 1901, Vienna, Austria - June 12, 1972, New York, USA) was a biologist who was a founder of general systems theory--which he literally translated from the mathematization of Nicolai Hartmanns Ontology as stated by himself in his seminal work-- .An Austrian citizen, he... Anatol Rapoport (born May 22, 1911) is a Russian-born American Jewish, mathematical psychologist. ... Ralph Waldo Gerard (7 October 1900, Harvey, Illinois - 17 February 1974) was an American neurophysiologist and behavioral scientist known for his wide-ranging work on the nervous system, nerve metabolism, psychopharmacology, and biological bases of schizophrenia [1]. // Gerard was born in Harvey, Illinois at the beginning of the 20th century. ... Kenneth Ewart Boulding (January 18, 1910 - March 18, 1993) was born in Liverpool, England, graduated from Oxford University, granted United States citizenship in 1948. ... The introduction of this article does not provide enough context for readers unfamiliar with the subject. ... He is a twat He was born in Vienna and died in Pescadero, California. ... Gregory Bateson (9 May 1904–4 July 1980) was a British anthropologist, social scientist, linguist and cyberneticist whose work intersected that of many other fields. ... Humberto Maturana (born September 14, 1928 in Santiago) is a Chilean biologist whose work crosses over into philosophy and cognitive science. ... In mathematics, catastrophe theory is a branch of bifurcation theory in the study of dynamical systems; it is also a particular special case of more general singularity theory in geometry. ... René Thom (September 2, 1923 - October 25, 2002) was a French mathematician and founder of the catastrophe theory. ... Sir Erik Christopher Zeeman (born February 4, 1925), is a mathematician known for work in geometric topology and singularity theory. ... For other uses, see Chaos Theory (disambiguation). ... (Born August 20, 1935) Belgian-French physicist. ... Edward Norton Lorenz (born May 23, 1917), a research meteorologist at MIT, observed that minute variations in the initial values of variables in his primitive computer weather model (c. ... Stephen Smale (born July 15, 1930) is an American mathematician from Flint, Michigan, and winner of the Fields Medal in 1966. ... This list of systems science organisations gives an overview of global and local organisations in the field of systems science. ... Complex adaptive systems are special cases of complex systems. ... Dr. John Henry Holland (February 2, 1929) is known as the father of genetic algorithms. ... Murray Gell-Mann (born September 15, 1929 in Manhattan, New York City, USA) is an American physicist who received the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles. ... The Phoenician alphabet is a continuation of the Proto-Canaanite alphabet, by convention taken to begin with a cut-off date of 1050 BCE. It was used by the Phoenicians to write Phoenician, a Northern Semitic language. ... Look up Cuneiform in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Mayan numerals. ... All Giza Pyramids Map of Giza pyramid complex. ... This article is not about continental rationalism. ... Alternative meaning: I Ching (monk) The I Ching (Traditional Chinese: 易經, pinyin y jīng; Cantonese IPA: jɪk6gɪŋ1; Cantonese Jyutping: jik6ging1; alternative romanizations include I Jing, Yi Ching, Yi King) is the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. ... Pre-Socratic philosophers are often very hard to pin down, and it is sometimes very difficult to determine the actual line of argument they used in supporting their particular views. ... Heraclitus of Ephesus (Greek Ηρακλειτος Herakleitos) (about 535 - 475 BC), known as The Obscure, was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. ... Gottfried Leibniz Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (July 1, 1646 in Leipzig - November 14, 1716 in Hannover) was a German philosopher, scientist, mathematician, diplomat, librarian, and lawyer of Sorb descent. ... Nicholas of Cusa Nicholas of Cusa (1401– August 11, 1464) was a German cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, a philosopher, jurist, mathematician, and an astronomer. ...


Systems theory as an area of study specifically developed following the World Wars from the work of Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Anatol Rapoport, Kenneth E. Boulding, William Ross Ashby, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, C. West Churchman and others in the 1950s, specifically catalyst from the Macy conferences. Cognizant of advances in science that questioned classical assumptions in the organizational sciences, Bertalanffy's idea to develop a theory of systems began as early as the interwar period, publishing "An Outline for General Systems Theory" in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol 1, No. 2, by 1950. Where assumptions in Western science from Greek thought with Plato and Aristotle to Newton’s Principia have historically influenced all areas from the social to hard sciences, the original theorists explored the implications of twentieth century advances in terms of systems. Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy (September 19, 1901, Vienna, Austria - June 12, 1972, New York, USA) was a biologist who was a founder of general systems theory--which he literally translated from the mathematization of Nicolai Hartmanns Ontology as stated by himself in his seminal work-- .An Austrian citizen, he... Anatol Rapoport (born May 22, 1911) is a Russian-born American Jewish, mathematical psychologist. ... Kenneth E. Boulding Kenneth Ewart Boulding (January 18, 1910 - March 18, 1993) was an economist, educator, peace activist, poet, religious mystic, devoted Quaker, systems scientist, and interdisciplinary philosopher. ... William Ross Ashby (September 6, 1903, London, England - November 15, 1972) was a British psychiatrist and a pioneer in the study of complex systems. ... Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901, Philadelphia – November 15, 1978, New York City) was an American cultural anthropologist. ... Gregory Bateson (9 May 1904–4 July 1980) was a British anthropologist, social scientist, linguist and cyberneticist whose work intersected that of many other fields. ... Charles West Churchman (born August 29, 1913 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, died March 21, 2004 Bolinas, California) was an American philospher in the field of management science, operations research and systems theory. ... The ten Macy Conferences between 1946 and 1953 were the first organised approach to interdisciplinarity, spawning breakthroughs in systems theory and leading to the foundation of what later was to be known as cybernetics. ... PLATO was one of the first generalized Computer assisted instruction systems, originally built by the University of Illinois (U of I) and later taken over by Control Data Corporation (CDC), who provided the machines it ran on. ... Aristotle (Greek: AristotélÄ“s) (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ... For other uses, see Newton (disambiguation). ... Newtons own copy of his Principia, with hand written corrections for the second edition. ...


Subjects like complexity, self-organization, connectionism and adaptive systems had already been studied in the 1940s and 1950s. In fields like cybernetics, researchers like Norbert Wiener, William Ross Ashby, John von Neumann and Heinz von Foerster examined complex systems using mathematics and no more than pencil and paper. John von Neumann discovered cellular automata and self-reproducing systems, again with only pencil and paper. Aleksandr Lyapunov and Jules Henri Poincaré worked on the foundations of chaos theory without any computer at all. At the same time Howard T. Odum, the radiation ecologist recognised that the study of general systems required a language that could depict energetics and kinetics at any system scale. Odum developed a general systems, or Universal language, based on the circuit language of electronics to fulfill this role, known as the Energy Systems Language. Between 1929-1951, Robert Maynard Hutchins at the University of Chicago had undertaken efforts to encourage innovation and interdisciplinary research in the social sciences, aided by the Ford Foundation with the interdisciplinary Division of the Social Sciences established in 1931 (Hammond 2003: 5-9). Numerous scholars had been actively engaged in ideas before (Tectology of Alexander Bogdanov published in 1912-1917 is a remarkable example), but in 1937 Bertalanffy presented the general theory of systems for a conference at the University of Chicago. Complexity in general usage is the opposite of simplicity. ... Self-organization refers to a process in which the internal organization of a system, normally an open system, increases automatically without being guided or managed by an outside source. ... Connectionism is an approach in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of mind. ... An adaptive system is a system that is able to adapt its behavior according to changes in its environment or in parts of the system itself. ... Norbert Wiener Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894, Columbia, Missouri – March 18, 1964, Stockholm Sweden) was an American theoretical and applied mathematician. ... William Ross Ashby (September 6, 1903, London, England - November 15, 1972) was a British psychiatrist and a pioneer in the study of complex systems. ... For other persons named John Neumann, see John Neumann (disambiguation). ... He is a twat He was born in Vienna and died in Pescadero, California. ... This article is about the handwriting instrument. ... For other uses, see Paper (disambiguation). ... For other persons named John Neumann, see John Neumann (disambiguation). ... A cellular automaton (plural: cellular automata) is a discrete model studied in computability theory and mathematics. ... This article is about the handwriting instrument. ... For other uses, see Paper (disambiguation). ... Aleksandr Mikhailovich Lyapunov (Александр Михайлович Ляпунов) (June 6, 1857 – November 3, 1918, all new style) was a Russian mathematician, mechanician and physicist. ... Henri Poincaré, photograph from the frontispiece of the 1913 edition of Last Thoughts Jules Henri Poincaré (April 29, 1854 – July 17, 1912), generally known as Henri Poincaré, was one of Frances greatest mathematicians, theoretical scientists and a philosopher of science. ... This article is about the machine. ... Howard Thomas Odum (1924-2002), commonly known as H.T. Odum or Tom Odum, was an eminent American ecosystem ecologist and a professor at the University of Florida. ... Energetics is the scientific study of energy flows under transformation. ... Kinetics refers to two different areas of science: Chemical kinetics studies reaction rates. ... The idea of a universal language is at least as old as the Biblical story of Babel. ... This article is about the engineering discipline. ... The Energy Systems Language was developed by H.T.Odum and colleagues for depicting the flows of energy through ecological systems. ... Robert Maynard Hutchins (January 17, 1899, Brooklyn, New York - May 17, 1977, Santa Barbara, California) was a philosopher. ... The University of Chicago is a private university located principally in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. ... The Ford Foundation is a charitable foundation based in New York City created to fund programs that promote democracy, reduce poverty, promote international understanding, and advance human achievement. ... Tectology is a term coined by Alexander Bogdanov (1873-1928), scientist, philosopher, economist, physician, novelist, poet, and Marxist revolutionary, unknown to almost everyone except for the experts in Russian science history. ... Alexander Bogdanov (1873 - 1928) was a Russian physician, philosopher, economist, writer, and revolutionary. ...


The systems view was based on several fundamental ideas. First, all phenomena can be viewed as a web of relationships among elements, or a system. Second, all systems, whether electrical, biological, or social, have common patterns, behaviors, and properties that can be understood and used to develop greater insight into the behavior of complex phenomena and to move closer toward a unity of science. System philosophy, methodology and application are complementary to this science [14]. By 1956, the Society for General Systems Research was established, renamed the International Society for Systems Science in 1988. The Cold War had its affects upon the research project for systems theory in ways that sorely disappointed many of the seminal theorists. Some began to recognize theories defined in association with systems theory had deviated from the initial General Systems Theory (GST) view (Hull 1970). The economist Kenneth Boulding, an early researcher in systems theory, had concerns over the manipulation of systems concepts. Boulding concluded from the effects of the Cold War that abuses of power always prove consequential and that systems theory might address such issues [15]. Since the end of the Cold War, there has been a renewed interest in systems theory with efforts to strengthen an ethical view. For other uses, see System (disambiguation). ... The article on electrical energy is located elsewhere. ... Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology is the science of life (from the Greek words bios = life and logos = word). ... Although the term social is a crucial category in social science and often used in public discourse, its meaning is often vague, suggesting that it is a fuzzy concept. ... A pattern is a form, template, or model (or, more abstractly, a set of rules) which can be used to make or to generate things or parts of a thing, especially if the things that are generated have enough in common for the underlying pattern to be inferred or discerned... Behavior (U.S.) or behaviour (U.K.) refers to the actions or reactions of an object or organism, usually in relation to the environment. ... A property is an intrinsic or extrinsic quality of an object—where an object may be of any differing nature, depending on the context and field — be it computing, philosophy, etc. ... Kenneth Ewart Boulding (January 18, 1910 - March 18, 1993) was born in Liverpool, England, graduated from Oxford University, granted United States citizenship in 1948. ... Look up Power in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Ethics is a general term for what is often described as the science (study) of morality. In philosophy, ethical behavior is that which is good or right. ...


Developments in system theories

General systems research and systems inquiry

Many early systems theorists aimed at finding a general systems theory that could explain all systems in all fields of science. The term goes back to Bertalanffy's book titled General System Theory. von Bertalanffy's objective was to bring together under one heading the organismic science that he had observed in his work as a biologist. His desire was to use the word "system" to describe those principles which are common to systems in general. In GST, he writes: "...there exist models, principles, and laws that apply to generalized systems or their subclasses, irrespective of their particular kind, the nature of their component elements, and the relationships or "forces" between them. It seems legitimate to ask for a theory, not of systems of a more or less special kind, but of universal principles applying to systems in general." [16]


Ervin Laszlo [17] in the preface of von Bertalanffy's book Perspectives on General System Theory.. [18]

"Thus when von Bertalanffy spoke of Allgemeine Systemtheorie it was consistent with his view that he was proposing a new perspective, a new way of doing science. It was not directly consistent with an interpretation often put on "general system theory," to wit, that it is a (scientific) "theory of general systems." To criticize it as such is to shoot at straw men. Von Bertalanffy opened up something much broader and of much greater significance than a single theory (which, as we now know, can always be falsified and has usually an ephemeral existence): he created a new paradigm for the development of theories."

Ludwig von Bertalanffy outlines systems inquiry into three major domains: Philosophy, the Science, and Technology. In his work with the Primer Group, Bela H. Banathy generalized the domains into four integratable "domains of systemic inquiry". Philosophy, the ontology, epistemology, and axiology of systems; Theory,a set of interrelated concepts and principles applying to all systems; Methodology, the set of models, strategies, methods, and tools that instrumentalize systems theory and philosophy; Application the application and interaction of the domains. These operate in a recursive relationship, he explained. Integrating Philosophy and Theory as Knowledge, and Method and Application as action, Systems Inquiry then is knowledgable action.[19] This article is about ontology in philosophy. ... It has been suggested that Meta-epistemology be merged into this article or section. ... Axiology, from the Greek axia (αξια, value, worth), is the study of value or quality. ...


Cybernetics

Main article: Cybernetics

Cybernetics is the study of feedback and derived concepts such as communication and control in living organisms, machines and organisations. Its focus is how anything (digital, mechanical or biological) processes information, reacts to information, and changes or can be changed to better accomplish the first two tasks. For other uses, see Cybernetics (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Feedback loop. ... Communication is a process that allows organisms to exchange information by several methods. ... Look up control in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The terms "systems theory" and "cybernetics" have been widely used as synonyms. Some authors use the term cybernetic systems to denote a proper subset of the class of general systems, namely those systems that include feedback loops. According to Jackson (2000), Bertalanffy promoted an embryonic form of general system theory (GST) as early as the 1920s and 1930s but it was not until the early 1950s it became more widely known in scientific circles. For other uses, see Cybernetics (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Feedback loop. ...


Threads of cybernetics began in the late 1800s that led toward the publishing of seminal works (eg., Weiner’s Cybernetics in 1946 and von Bertalanffy’s General Systems Theory in 1968). Cybernetics arose more from engineering fields and GST from biology. If anything it appears that although the two probably mutually influenced each other, cybernetics had the greater influence. Bertalanffy (1969) specifically makes the point of distinguishing between the areas in noting the influence of cybernetics:


"Systems theory is frequently identified with cybernetics and control theory. This again is incorrect. Cybernetics as the theory of control mechanisms in technology and nature and founded on the concepts of information and feedback, is but a part of a general theory of systems;” then reiterates: "the model is of wide application but should not be identified with 'systems theory' in general," and that "warning is necessary against its incautious expansion to fields for which its concepts are not made." (17-23).


Jackson (2000) also claims Bertalanffy was informed by Alexander Bogdanov’s three volume Tectology that was published in Russia between 1912 and 1917, and was translated into German in 1928. He also states it is clear to Gorelik (1975) that the “conceptual part” of general system theory (GST) had first been put in place by Bogdanov. The similar position is held by Mattessich (1978) and Capra (1996). Bertalanffy never even mentioned Bogdanov in his works, which Capra (1996) finds 'surprising'. Alexander Bogdanov (1873 - 1928) was a Russian physician, philosopher, economist, writer, and revolutionary. ... Tectology is a term coined by Alexander Bogdanov (1873-1928), scientist, philosopher, economist, physician, novelist, poet, and Marxist revolutionary, unknown to almost everyone except for the experts in Russian science history. ...


Cybernetics, catastrophe theory, chaos theory and complexity theory have the common goal to explain complex systems that consist of a large number of mutually interacting and interrelated parts in terms of those interactions. Cellular automata (CA), neural networks (NN), artificial intelligence (AI), and artificial life (ALife) are related fields, but they do not try to describe general (universal) complex (singular) systems. The best context to compare the different "C"-Theories about complex systems is historical, which emphasizes different tools and methodologies, from pure mathematics in the beginning to pure computer science now. Since the beginning of chaos theory when Edward Lorenz accidentally discovered a strange attractor with his computer, computers have become an indispensable source of information. One could not imagine the study of complex systems without the use of computers today. In mathematics, catastrophe theory is a branch of bifurcation theory in the study of dynamical systems; it is also a particular special case of more general singularity theory in geometry. ... Artificial Life, (commonly Alife or alife) is a field of study and art form that examines systems related to life, its processes and its evolution through simulations using computer models, robotics, and biochemistry [1] (called soft, hard, and wet approaches respectively[2]). Artificial life complements traditional Biology by trying to... Edward Norton Lorenz (born May 23, 1917), a research meteorologist at MIT, observed that minute variations in the initial values of variables in his primitive computer weather model (c. ... In the study of dynamical systems, an attractor is a set, curve, or space to which a system irreversibly evolves, if left undisturbed. ...


Complex adaptive systems

Complex adaptive systems are special cases of complex systems. They are complex in that they are diverse and made up of multiple interconnected elements and adaptive in that they have the capacity to change and learn from experience. The term complex adaptive systems was coined at the interdisciplinary Santa Fe Institute (SFI), by John H. Holland, Murray Gell-Mann and others. Complex adaptive systems, are a special case of complex systems. ... There are many definitions of complexity, therefore many natural, artificial and abstract objects or networks can be considered to be complex systems, and their study (complexity science) is highly interdisciplinary. ... The Santa Fe Institute (or SFI) is a non-profit research institute dedicated to the study of complex systems in Santa Fe, New Mexico founded by George Cowan, David Pines, Stirling Colgate, Murray Gell-Mann, Nick Metropolis, Herb Anderson, Peter A. Carruthers, and Richard Slansky in 1984 to study complex... Dr. John Henry Holland (February 2, 1929) is known as the father of genetic algorithms. ... Murray Gell-Mann (born September 15, 1929 in Manhattan, New York City, USA) is an American physicist who received the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles. ...


CAS ideas and models are essentially evolutionary, and they take ground in the modern biological views on adaptation and evolution. Accordingly, the theory of complex adaptive systems bridges developments of the system theory with the ideas of 'generalized Darwinism', which suggests that Darwinian principles of evolution are capable to explain a range of complex material phenomena, from cosmic to social objects. Charles Darwin Darwinism is a term for the underlying theory in those ideas of Charles Darwin concerning evolution and natural selection. ...


Applications of system theories

Living systems theory

Main article: Living systems theory

Living systems theory is an offshoot of Bertalanffy's general systems theory, created by James Grier Miller, which was intended to formalize the concept of "life". According to Miller's original conception as spelled out in his magnum opus Living Systems, a "living system" must contain each of 20 "critical subsystems", which are defined by their functions and visible in numerous systems, from simple cells to organisms, countries, and societies. In Living Systems Miller provides a detailed look at a number of systems in order of increasing size, and identifies his subsystems in each. Living systems theory is an offshoot of Bertalanffys general systems theory, created by James Grier Miller, intended to formalize the concept of life. According to Millers original conception, as spelt out in his magnum opus Living Systems, a living system must contain each of 19 critical subsystems, which... Living systems theory is an offshoot of Bertalanffys general systems theory, created by James Grier Miller, intended to formalize the concept of life. According to Millers original conception, as spelt out in his magnum opus Living Systems, a living system must contain each of 19 critical subsystems, which... Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy (September 19, 1901, Vienna, Austria - June 12, 1972, New York, USA) was a biologist who was a founder of general systems theory--which he literally translated from the mathematization of Nicolai Hartmanns Ontology as stated by himself in his seminal work-- .An Austrian citizen, he... James Grier Miller (d. ...


James Grier Miller (1978) wrote a 1,102-page volume to present his living systems theory. He constructed a general theory of living systems by focusing on concrete systems—nonrandom accumulations of matter-energy in physical space-time organized into interacting, interrelated subsystems or components. Slightly revising the original model a dozen years later, he distinguished eight “nested” hierarchical levels in such complex structures. Each level is “nested” in the sense that each higher level contains the next lower level in a nested fashion.


Organizational theory

Kurt Lewin attended the Macy conferences and is commonly identified as the founder of the movement to study groups scientifically.

The systems framework is also fundamental to organizational theory as organizations are complex dynamic goal-oriented processes. One of the early thinkers in the field was Alexander Bogdanov, who developed his Tectology, a theory widely considered a precursor of Bertalanffy's GST, aiming to model and design human organizations (see Mattessich 1978, Capra 1996). Kurt Lewin was particularly influential in developing the systems perspective within organizational theory and coined the term "systems of ideology", from his frustration with behavioral psychologies that became an obstacle to sustainable work in psychology [20]. Jay Forrester with his work in dynamics and management alongside numerous theorists including Edgar Schein that followed in their tradition since the Civil Rights Era have also been influential. Image File history File linksMetadata Kurt_Lewin. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Kurt_Lewin. ... Kurt Zadek Lewin (September 9, 1890 – February 12, 1947) was a German psychologist and one of the pioneers of social psychology. ... The ten Macy Conferences between 1946 and 1953 were the first organised approach to interdisciplinarity, spawning breakthroughs in systems theory and leading to the foundation of what later was to be known as cybernetics. ... Organizational studies, organizational behaviour, and organizational theory are related terms for the academic study of organizations, examining them using the methods of economics, sociology, political science, anthropology, and psychology. ... Organizational Studies (also known as Industrial Organizations, Organizational Behavior and I/O) is a distinct field of academic study which takes as its subject organizations, examining them using the methods of economics, sociology, political science, anthropology, and psychology. ... An organisation (or organization — see spelling differences) is a social arrangement which pursues collective goals, which controls its own performance, and which has a boundary separating it from its environment. ... Alexander Bogdanov (1873 - 1928) was a Russian physician, philosopher, economist, writer, and revolutionary. ... Tectology is a term coined by Alexander Bogdanov (1873-1928), scientist, philosopher, economist, physician, novelist, poet, and Marxist revolutionary, unknown to almost everyone except for the experts in Russian science history. ... Kurt Zadek Lewin (September 9, 1890 – February 12, 1947) was a German psychologist and one of the pioneers of social psychology. ... Jay Wright Forrester (born 14 July 1918 Climax, Nebraska) is an American pioneer of computer engineering. ... Edgar H. Schein (born 1928), a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management has had a notable mark on the field of organizational development in many areas, including career development, group process consultation, and organizational culture. ... Prominent figures of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. ...


The systems approach to organizations relies heavily upon achieving negative entropy through openness and feedback. A systemic view on organizations is transdisciplinary and integrative. In other words, it transcends the perspectives of individual disciplines, integrating them on the basis of a common "code", or more exactly, on the basis of the formal apparatus provided by systems theory. The systems approach gives primacy to the interrelationships, not to the elements of the system. It is from these dynamic interrelationships that new properties of the system emerge. In recent years, systems thinking has been developed to provide techniques for studying systems in holistic ways to supplement traditional reductionistic methods. In this more recent tradition, systems theory in organizational studies is considered by some as a humanistic extension of the natural sciences. For a less technical and generally accessible introduction to the topic, see Introduction to entropy. ... This article is about systems theory. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Feedback loop. ... Systems thinking is an approach to integration that is based on the belief that the component parts of a system will act differently when isolated from the systems environment or other parts of the system. ... Whole redirects here. ... Descartes held that non-human animals could be reductively explained as automata — De homines 1622. ... See also the specific life stance known as Humanism For the Renaissance liberal arts movement, see Renaissance humanism Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities... The Michelson–Morley experiment was used to disprove that light propagated through a luminiferous aether. ...


Software and computing

In the 1960s, systems theory was adopted by the post John Von Neumann computing and information technology field, and, in fact formed the basis of structured analysis and structured design (see also Larry Constantine, Tom Demarco and Ed Yourdon). It was also the basis for early software engineering and computer-aided software engineering principles. For other persons named John Neumann, see John Neumann (disambiguation). ... Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method (SSADM) is a systems approach to the analysis and design of information systems. ... Larry L. Constantine is a pioneer of modern software engineering practice, he is regarded as an authority on the human side of software development. ... Edward Yourdon is a computer consultant, author, and lecturer and a recognised pioneer in a software engineering methodology - structured programming. ... Software engineering is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software. ... ERwin CASE tool on Windows 2000 Computer-aided software engineering (CASE) is the use of software tools to assist in the development and maintenance of software. ...


By the 1970s, General Systems Theory (GST) was the fundamental underpinning of most commercial software design techniques, and by the 1980, W. Vaughn Frick and Albert F. Case, Jr. had used GST to design the "missing link" transformation from system analysis (defining what's needed in a system) to system design (what's actually implemented) using the Yourdon/Demarco notation. These principles were incorporated into computer-aided software engineering tools delivered by Nastec Corporation, Transform Logic, Inc., KnowledgeWare (see Fran Tarkenton and James Martin), Texas Instruments, Arthur Andersen and ultimately IBM Corporation. Systems theory or general systems theory or systemics is an interdisciplinary field which studies systems as a whole. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Francis Asbury Tarkenton (born February 3, 1940) is a former American football player, TV personality, and computer software executive. ... Several people have the name James Martin: James Martin, former Premier of New South Wales James Martin, computer systems design author. ...


Sociology and Sociocybernetics

Main article: Sociology

Systems theory has also been developed within sociology. An important figure in the sociological systems perspective as developed from GST is Walter Buckley (who from Bertalanffy's theory). Niklas Luhmann (see Luhmann 1994) is also predominant in the literatures for sociology and systems theory. Miller's living systems theory was particularly influential in sociology from the time of the early systems movement. Models for equilibrium in systems analysis that contrasted classical views from Talcott Parsons and George Homas were influential in integrating concepts with the general movement. With the renewed interest in systems theory on the rise since the 1990s, Bailey (1994) notes the concept of systems in sociology dates back to Auguste Comte in the 19th century, Herbert Spencer and Vilfredo Pareto, and that sociology was readying into its centennial as the new systems theory was emerging following the World Wars. Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge) is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. ... Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge) is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. ... Walter F. Buckley (1922, Lynn, Massachusetts - January 26, 2006, Durham, New Hampshire) was an American Professor of Sociology. ... Niklas Luhmann (December 8, 1927 - November 6, 1998) was a German sociologist, administration expert, and social systems theorist, as well as one the most prominent modern day thinkers in the sociological systems theory. ... Living systems theory is an offshoot of Bertalanffys general systems theory, created by James Grier Miller, intended to formalize the concept of life. According to Millers original conception, as spelt out in his magnum opus Living Systems, a living system must contain each of 19 critical subsystems, which... Talcott Parsons Talcott Parsons (December 13, 1902–May 8, 1979) was for many years the best-known sociologist in the United States, and indeed one of the best-known in the world. ... Auguste Comte (full name: Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte; January 17, 1798 - September 5, 1857) was a French thinker who coined the term sociology. ... For other persons named Herbert Spencer, see Herbert Spencer (disambiguation). ... Vilfredo Pareto Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto [vilfre:do pare:to] (July 15, 1848, Paris – August 19, 1923, Geneva) was a French-Italian sociologist, economist and philosopher. ...


In sociology, members of Research Committee 51 of the International Sociological Association (which focuses on sociocybernetics), have sought to identify the sociocybernetic feedback loops which, it is argued, primarily control the operation of society. On the basis of research largely conducted in the area of education, Raven (1995) has, for example, argued that it is these sociocybernetic processes which consistently undermine well intentioned public action and are currently heading our species, at an exponentially increasing rate, toward extinction. See sustainability. He suggests that an understanding of these systems processes will allow us to generate the kind of (non "common-sense") targeted interventions that are required for things to be otherwise - ie to halt the destruction of the planet. Sociocybernetics is an independent chapter of science in sociology based upon the General Systems Theory and Cybernetics. ... The Earth Day flag includes a NASA photo. ...


System dynamics

Main article: System dynamics

System Dynamics was founded in the late 1950s by Jay W. Forrester of the MIT Sloan School of Management with the establishment of the MIT System Dynamics Group. At that time, he began applying what he had learned about systems during his work in electrical engineering to everyday kinds of systems. Determining the exact date of the founding of the field of system dynamics is difficult and involves a certain degree of arbitrariness. Jay W. Forrester joined the faculty of the Sloan School at MIT in 1956, where he then developed what is now System Dynamics. The first published article by Jay W. Forrester in the Harvard Business Review on "Industrial Dynamics", was published in 1958. The members of System Dynamics Society have chosen 1957 to mark the occasion as it is the year in which the work leading to that article, which described the dynamics of a manufacturing supply chain, was done. System Dynamics is an approach to understanding the behaviour of complex systems over time. ... The 1950s decade refers to the years 1950 to 1959 inclusive. ... Jay Wright Forrester (born 14 July 1918 Climax, Nebraska) is an American pioneer of computer engineering. ... The MIT Sloan School of Management is one of the five schools of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. It is one of the worlds leading business schools, conducting research and teaching in finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, strategic management, economics, organizational behavior, operations management, supply chain... Electrical Engineers design power systems… … and complex electronic circuits. ...


As an aspect of systems theory, system dynamics is a method for understanding the dynamic behavior of complex systems. The basis of the method is the recognition that the structure of any system — the many circular, interlocking, sometimes time-delayed relationships among its components — is often just as important in determining its behavior as the individual components themselves. Examples are chaos theory and social dynamics. It is also claimed that, because there are often properties-of-the-whole which cannot be found among the properties-of-the-elements, in some cases the behavior of the whole cannot be explained in terms of the behavior of the parts. An example is the properties of these letters which when considered together can give rise to meaning which does not exist in the letters by themselves. This further explains the integration of tools, like language, as a more parsimonious process in the human application of easiest path adaptability through interconnected systems. System Dynamics is an approach to understanding the behaviour of complex systems over time. ... For other uses, see Chaos Theory (disambiguation). ... Social dynamics means the ability of a society to react to inner and outer changes and deals with its regulation mechanisms. ... Look up integration in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Parsimonious adj. ... Illustration of a physical process: a geyser in action. Process (lat. ... For other uses, see Adaptation (disambiguation). ...


Systems engineering

Main article: Systems Engineering

Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary approach and means for enabling the realization and deployment of successful systems. It can be viewed as the application of engineering techniques to the engineering of systems, as well as the application of a systems approach to engineering efforts.[21] Systems Engineering integrates other disciplines and specialty groups into a team effort, forming a structured development process that proceeds from concept to production to operation and disposal. Systems Engineering considers both the business and the technical needs of all customers, with the goal of providing a quality product that meets the user needs.[22] Systems engineering techniques are used in complex projects: from spacecrafts to chip design, from robotics to creating large software products to building bridges, Systems engineering uses a host of tools that include modeling & simulation, requirements analysis, and scheduling to manage complexity Systems Engineering (SE) is an interdisciplinary approach and means... Systems engineering techniques are used in complex projects: from spacecrafts to chip design, from robotics to creating large software products to building bridges, Systems engineering uses a host of tools that include modeling & simulation, requirements analysis, and scheduling to manage complexity Systems Engineering (SE) is an interdisciplinary approach and means... Interdisciplinary work is that which integrates concepts across different disciplines. ... For other uses, see System (disambiguation). ...


Systemic psychology

Main article: Systemic psychology

Systemic psychology is a branch of psychology that treats groups, and to some extent individuals, as systems that exhibit homeostasis. Meaning, within open systems they have an active method of remaining stable through the dynamic relationship between parts. Systemic psychology is based on the theoretical work of Gregory Bateson and others. Therapeutic applications were developed by Virginia Satir, the Milan Group, and others. Systemic psychology is a branch of psychology that treats groups, and to some extent individuals, as systems that exhibit homeostasis. ... Psychology (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhē, spirit, soul; λόγος, logos, knowledge) is both an academic and applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... Homeostasis is the property of either an open system or a closed system,[1] especially a living organism, to regulate its internal environment to maintain a stable, constant condition. ... An open system may refer to: Open system (computing), one of a class of computers that provides some combination of interoperability, portability and open software standards, particularly Unix and Unix-like systems Open system (computer science), in the computer sciences a collection of interacting software, hardware, and human components with... Gregory Bateson (9 May 1904–4 July 1980) was a British anthropologist, social scientist, linguist and cyberneticist whose work intersected that of many other fields. ... Virginia Satir (26 June 1916 - 10 September 1988) was a noted psychotherapist, known especially for her approach to family therapy. ...


See also

For other uses, see Cybernetics (disambiguation). ... A termite cathedral mound produced by a termite colony: a classic example of emergence in nature. ... Whole redirects here. ... Meta-systems have several definitions. ... Mindwalk is a 1990 movie directed by Bernt Amadeus Capra, based on a book by his brother Fritjof Capra, named The Turning Point. ... Morphological analysis (or General Morphological Analysis) is a method developed by Fritz Zwicky (1967, 1969) for exploring all the possible solutions to a multi-dimensional, non-quantified problem complex. ... A multi-agent system (MAS) is a system composed of several agents, collectively capable of reaching goals that are difficult to achieve by an individual agent or monolithic system. ... // Foundations The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism Max Weber Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus, 1904 Online version Description: In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Weber puts forward a thesis that Puritan ethic and ideas had influenced the development of capitalism. ... Systemantics is a book by John Gall in which he proposes several laws of systems failures. ... Systems engineering (or systems design engineering) as a field originated around the time of World War II. Large or highly complex engineering projects, such as the development of a new airliner or warship, are often decomposed into stages and managed throughout the entire life of the product or system. ... System of Systems is a relatively new term that is being applied primarily to government projects for addressing large scale inter-disciplinary problems with multiple, heterogeneous, distributed systems that are embedded in networks at multiple levels and multiple domains. ... System-of-Systems Engineering (SoSE) is a set of developing processes and methods for designing and implementing solutions to System-of-Systems problems. ... A system architecture or systems architecture is the design or set of relations between the parts of a system. ... Systems intelligence is a concept developed in the fields of engineering sciences and applied philosophy. ... Systems theory is not native to archaeology. ... Systems theory is a highly abstract and mechanistic view of politics, incluenced by cybernetics. ... Systems theory as an area of study followed the World Wars from the work of Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Anatol Rapoport, Kenneth E. Boulding, William Ross Ashby, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, C. West Churchman and others in the 1950s, specifically catalyst from the Macy conferences. ... World-systems analysis is not a theory, but an approach to social analysis and social change developed principally by Andre Gunder Frank and Immanuel Wallerstein, with major contributions by Samir Amin, Giovanni Arrighi, Christopher Chase-Dunn, Peter Turchin, Andrey Korotayev, Janet Abu Lughod, Tom Hall, and others. ...

References

  1. ^ Bertalanffy (1950: 142)
  2. ^ (Laszlo 1974)
  3. ^ (Laszlo 1974)
  4. ^ (Laszlo 1974)
  5. ^ (Schein 1980: 4-11)
  6. ^ Laslo (1972: 14-15)
  7. ^ (Banathy 1997: ¶ 22)
  8. ^ (see Steiss 1967; Buckley, 1967)
  9. ^ Peter Senge (2000: 27-49)
  10. ^ (Bailey 1994: 3-8; see also Owens 2004)
  11. ^ (Bailey 1994: 3-8)
  12. ^ (Bailey 1994; Flood 1997; Checkland 1999; Laszlo 1972)
  13. ^ (Hammond 2003: 12-13)
  14. ^ (Laszlo 1974)
  15. ^ (Hammond 2003: 229-233)
  16. ^ (GST p.32)
  17. ^ http://projects.isss.org/perspectives_on_general_system_theory
  18. ^ von Bertalanffy, Ludwig, (1974) Perspectives on General System Theory Edited by Edgar Taschdjian. George Braziller, New York
  19. ^ http://projects.isss.org/Main/SystemsInquiry]
  20. ^ (see Ash 1992: 198-207)
  21. ^ Thomé, Bernhard (1993). Systems Engineering: Principles and Practice of Computer-based Systems Engineering. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-93552-2. 
  22. ^ INCOSE. What is Systems Engineering. Retrieved on 2006-11-26.

The International Council on Systems Engineering, or INCOSE, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of systems engineering. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 330th day of the year (331st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links Emblem-important. ...

Further reading

  • Ackoff, R. (1978). The art of problem solving. New York: Wiley.
  • Ash, M.G. 1992. "Cultural Contexts and Scientific Change in Psychology: Kurt Lewin in Iowa." American Psychologist, Vol. 47, No. 2, pp. 198-207.
  • Bailey, K.D. 1994. Sociology and the New Systems Theory: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis. New York: State of New York Press.
  • Banathy, B (1996) Designing Social Systems in a Changing World New York Plenum
  • Banathy, B. ( ) Systems Design of Education. Englewood Cliffs: Educational Technology Publications
  • Banathy, B. (1992) A Systems View of Education. Englewood Cliffs: Educational Technology Publications. ISBN 0-87778-245-8
  • Banathy, B.H. 1997. "A Taste of Systemics", The Primer Project, Retrieved May 14, 2007
  • Bateson, G. (1979). Mind and nature: A necessary unity. New York: Ballantine
  • Bausch, Kenneth C. (2001) The Emerging Consensus in Social Systems Theory, Kluwer Academic New York ISBN 0-306-46539-6
  • Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1968). General System Theory: Foundations, Development, Applications New York: George Braziller
  • Bertalanffy, L. von. (1950). "An Outline of General Systems Theory." British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 1, No. 2.
  • Bertalanffy, L. von. 1955. "An Essay on the Relativity of Categories." Philosophy of Science, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 243–263.
  • Bertalanffy, Ludwig von. 1968. Organismic Psychology and Systems Theory. Worchester: Clark University Press.
  • Bertalanffy, Ludwig Von. 1974. Perspectives on General System Theory Edited by Edgar Taschdjian. George Braziller, New York.
  • Buckley, W. 1967. Sociology and Modern Systems Theory. New Jersey: Englewood Cliffs.
  • Mario Bunge (1979) Treatise on Basic Philosophy, Volume 4. Ontology II A World of Systems. Dordrecht, Netherlands: D. Reidel.
  • Capra, F. (1997). The Web of Life-A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems, Anchor ISBN 978-0385476768
  • Checkland, P. (1981). Systems thinking, Systems practice. New York: Wiley.
  • Checkland, P. 1997. Systems Thinking, Systems Practice. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Churchman, C.W. (1968). The systems approach. New York: Laurel.
  • Churchman, C.W. (1971). The design of inquiring systems. New York: Basic Books.
  • Corning, P. 1983) The Synergism Hupothesis: A Theory of Progressive Evolution. New York: McGRaw Hill
  • Durand, D. La systémique, Presses Universitaires de France* Hinrichsen, D. and Pritchard, A.J. (2005) Mathematical Systems Theory. New York: Springer. ISBN 978-3-540-44125-0
  • Flood, R.L. 1999. Rethinking the Fifth Discipline: Learning within the unknowable." London: Routledge.
  • Charles François. (2004). Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics, Introducing the 2nd Volume [1] and further links to the ENCYCLOPEDIA, K G Saur, Munich [2] see also [3] * Kahn, Herman. (1956). Techniques of System Analysis, Rand Corporation* Laszlo, E. (1995). The Interconnected Universe. New Jersy, World Scientific. ISBN 981-02-2202-5
  • François, C. (1999). Systemics and Cybernetics in a Historical Perspective * Jantsch, E. (1980). The Self Organizing Universe. New York: Pergamon.
  • Gorelik, G. (1975) Reemergence of Bogdanov’s Tektology in. Soviet Studies of Organization, Academy of Management Journal. 18/2, pp. 345-357
  • Hammond, D. 2003. The Science of Synthesis. Colorado: University of Colorado Press.
  • Hull, D.L. 1970. “Systemic Dynamic Social Theory.” Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 11, Issue 3, pp. 351-363.
  • Jackson, M.C. 2000. Systems Approaches to Management. London: Springer.
  • Klin, G.J. 1969. An Approach to General Systems Theory. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.
  • Ervin László 1972. The Systems View of the World. New York: George Brazilier.
  • Laszlo, E. (1972a). The systems view of the world. The natural philosophy of the new developments in the sciences. New York: George Brazillier. ISBN 0-8076-0636-7
  • Laszlo, E. (1972b). Introduction to systems philosophy. Toward a new paradigm of contemporary thought. San Francisco: Harper. -->
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Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy (September 19, 1901, Vienna, Austria - June 12, 1972, New York, USA) was a biologist who was a founder of general systems theory--which he literally translated from the mathematization of Nicolai Hartmanns Ontology as stated by himself in his seminal work-- .An Austrian citizen, he... Mario Augusto Bunge (born September 21, 1919, Buenos Aires) is an Argentinian philosopher and physicist mainly active in Canada. ... Charles François is a Belgian citizen, born 1922 and retired from the Belgian Foreign Service since 1987. ... Herman Kahn, May 1965 Herman Kahn (February 15, 1922 – July 7, 1983) was a military strategist and systems theorist employed at RAND Corporation, USA. // Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, Kahn grew up in the Bronx, then in Los Angeles following his parents divorce. ... Ervin László (born 1932 in Budapest, Hungary) is a Hungarian philosopher of science, systems theorist, integral theorist, and classical pianist. ... Niklas Luhmann (December 8, 1927 - November 6, 1998) was a German sociologist, administration expert, and social systems theorist, as well as one the most prominent modern day thinkers in the sociological systems theory. ... Peter Michael Senge was the Director of the Center for Organizational Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and is presently (2005) on the faculty at MIT. He is the founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL). ... Gerald Marvin Weinberg is an author and teacher of the psychology and anthropology of computer software development. ...

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Georgetown Family Center -- Bowen Theory (442 words)
Bowen family systems theory is a theory of human behavior that views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit.
He formulated the theory by using systems thinking to integrate knowledge of the human species as a product of evolution and knowledge from family research.
The emotional system affects most human activity and is the principal driving force in the development of clinical problems.
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