1969, 1981 Emery, System Thinking: Selected Readings

In brief. David Ing.

Graduate students in Social Systems Science at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (graduating 1975-1988) — the program led by Russell Ackoff — were guided to read a Penguin paperback collection of articles. Across multiple editions, the content changed. Long out of print, the earliest editions are difficult to find.

From the Internet Archive, we can resurrect an entry (circa 2007) on the Collection and Resources section of the Systems Sciences Connections Conversation. This annotated list of tables of contents and excerpts from each edition “Introduction” may be helpful to readers who want a sense of the articles that might otherwise be accessible as journal articles.


There are multiple editions of this book. It’s a bit confusing that the 1969 version was first published as a single volume, and the 1981 version seems to have added a second volume. We should get the table of contents for…

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