The Architecture of Complexity
Part of the International Federation for Systems Research International Series on Systems Science and Engineeringbook series (IFSR, volume 7)
A number of proposals have been advanced in recent years for the development of “general systems theory” which, abstracting from properties peculiar to physical, biological, or social systems, would be applicable to all of them. We might well feel that, while the goal is laudable, systems of such diverse kinds could hardly be expected to have any nontrivial properties in common. Metaphor and analogy can be helpful, or they can be misleading. All depends on whether the similarities the metaphor captures are significant or superficial.
With introduction by Paul Cilliers in 2005 (pdf)