Ecology of Systems Thinking facebook group post – ‘general systems theory’

 

Source: (13) The Ecology of Systems Thinking (group membership required)

In this group, Örsan Şenalp shared a link.

In their “In Search of General Systems Theory”, David Rousseau and his co-authors state the below:

“However the field is not yet unified because we are still lacking a general systems theory (GST). The existence, in principle, of a GST was first suggested about a hundred years ago (Bogdanov, 1913; von Bertalanffy, 1932), and discovering and leveraging it was a core ambition of the founders of the Society for the Advancement of General Systems Theory (SAGST) in 1954 (Hammond, 2003, pp. 245–248). This society was soon renamed the Society for General Systems Research (SGSR, 1956) and since 1988 it lives on as the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS). Despite the evolution of the name of the ISSS its objects remain unchanged, and its interest in the development and leverage of a GST continues through the work of its Special Integration Group (SIG) on “Research towards General Theories of Systems”, founded by Len Troncale ca.1990 and currently chaired by one of us (Rousseau).”

http://www.systema-journal.org/article/view/406/357The authors above do recognize Bogdanov’s 1913 publication of Tektology as the starting point, as Capra and Luisi do in his 2014 The Systems View of Life. Thus systems thinkers recognition of Bogdanov’s work as the ’emergent’ moment of Systems paradigm finally becoming the norm, which is a great thing. Capra and Luisi even go further by referring to George Gorelik’s 1989 article and recognize the fact that Tektology presents a more comprehensive and systematic presentation in comparison to Bertalanffy’s GST. However, unfortunately, still contemporary systems thinkers, including Capra and Luisi, Roussou, and others while complaining about the failure of the GST, Cybernetics, Operation Research and their many derivatives, of not being able to deliver a general universal unifying science and suggest that we need to go back to the roots in search of the principles needed they do fail to read and refer to Bogdanov’s work and the principles he uncovered explicitly which he called universal organizational science. Since, indeed, in Tektology Bogdanov actually did manage to build such a unified science and identified general organizational principles for all types of systems. By correctly identifying the ‘feedback mechanism’, ’emergence phenomena’, ‘dynamic equilibrium’, ‘bifurcation’ and many other aspects of systems, he even envisaged a non-mathematical universal symbolism to form a language for patterns of organization. If systems thinkers need to return to the original roots today, the sources needed will be found in the real moment of emergence with Tektology, not GST or Cybernetics only.

Besides Gorelik’s 1989 paper, Peter Dudley’s introduction to the 1996 translation of Tektology is very useful:

https://archive.org/…/PeterDudleysIntroductionToThe1996Engl… which was published separately here as an independent article: https://www.researchgate.net/…/226636000_Back_to_basics_Tek…

more discussion, including responses already (one hour later as I write), in source: (13) The Ecology of Systems Thinking (group membership required)