Systems Theory (or Theorie) or General Systems Theory or Systemics is an interdisciplinary field which studies systems as a whole. Systems Theory was founded by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, William Ross Ashby and others between the 1940s and the 1970s on principles from Physics, Biology and Engineering and later grew with connections into Philosophy, Sociology and Economics, further developed by Fritjof Capra and others. Cybernetics is also a related field, sometimes considered as a part of Systems Theory.
Systems Theory focuses on complexity and interdependance. It has a strong philosophical dimension, because applied to the human mind and society, it results in unusual perspectives. In recent times Complex Systems or Dynamism, have increasingly been used as synonyms.
Part 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.
In recent years, the field of Systems Thinking has been developed to provide techniques for studying systems in holistic ways to supplement more traditional reductionistic methods, and even to argue for a "feminine principle" of systems, opposed to the dominant masculine. In this more recent tradition, Systems Theory is considered by some as a humanistic counterpart to the Natural Sciences.
- Fritjof Capra, ''The Web of Life', Anchor Books, October, 1997, ISBN 0385476760, explores themes in Systems Theory involving complexity, chaos, social systems, and ecosystems.
- Daniel Durand (1979) La systémique, Presses Universitaires de France
- Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1968). General System Theory: Foundations, Development, Applications New York: George Braziller
- Gerald M. Weinberg (1975) An Introduction to General Systems Thinking (1975 ed., Wiley-Interscience) (2001 ed. Dorset House).
- William Ross Ashby
- Fritjof Capra
- Buckminster Fuller
- systems Theory in Archaeology
- systems Thinking
- Principia Cybernetica Web
- International Society for the System Sciences
- Autopoiesis at the ACM website
- Systems theory
- Le Village Systémique
Some content adapted from the Wikinfo article "Systems_Theory" under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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