„[The environment of a system is] a set of elements and their relevant properties, which elements are not part of the system, but a change in any of which can cause or produce a change in the state of the system.“

1970s, Towards a System of Systems Concepts, 1971

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Russell Ackoff Foto
Russell Ackoff
US-amerikanischer Organisationstheoretiker 1919 - 2009

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„There appears to exist a general systems laws which apply to any system of a certain type, irrespective of the particular properties of the system and of the elements involved.“

—  Ludwig von Bertalanffy austrian biologist and philosopher 1901 - 1972

Quelle: General System Theory (1968), 2. The Meaning of General Systems Theory, p. 37

„For a given system, the environment is the set of all objects outside the system: (1) a change in whose attributes affect the system and (2) whose attributes are changed by the behavior of the system.“

—  Arthur D. Hall American electrical engineer 1925 - 2006

Quelle: A methodology for systems engineering, 1962, p. 61 cited in: Clute, Whitehead & Reid (1967) Progressive architecture. Vol.48, Nr. 7-9. p. 106

Russell L. Ackoff Foto

„Every part of the system is so related to every other part that a change in a particular part causes a changes in all other parts and in the total system“

—  Arthur D. Hall American electrical engineer 1925 - 2006

Cited in: Harold Chestnut (1967) Systems Engineering Methods. p. 121
A methodology for systems engineering, 1962

Fritjof Capra Foto
Russell L. Ackoff Foto

„A system may actually exist as a natural aggregation of component parts found in Nature, or it may be a man-contrived aggregation – a way of looking at a problem which results from a deliberate decision to assume that a set of elements are related and constitute such a thing called ‘a system.“

—  C. West Churchman American philosopher and systems scientist 1913 - 2004

C. West Churchman, , I. Auerbach, and Simcha Sadam (1975) Thinking for Decisions Deduction Quantitative Methods. Science Research Associates. cited in: John P. van Gigch (1978) Applied General Systems Theory. Harper & Row Publishers
1960s - 1970s

„In our definition of system we noted that all systems have interrelationships between objects and between their attributes. If every part of the system is so related to every other part that any change in one aspect results in dynamic changes in all other parts of the total system, the system is said to behave as a whole or coherently.“

—  Arthur D. Hall American electrical engineer 1925 - 2006

At the other extreme is a set of parts that are completely unrelated: that is, a change in each part depends only on that part alone. The variation in the set is the physical sum of the variations of the parts. Such behavior is called independent or physical summativity.
Quelle: Definition of System, 1956, p. 23

Erich Fromm Foto

„If a society system disintegrates or is destroyed by blows from the outside the society ends in chaos, and a completely new society is built upon its ruins, often using the elements of the destroyed system to build the new. That has happened many times in history. But, what also happens is that the society is not simply destroyed but that the system is changed, and a new system emerges which can be considered to be a transformation of the old one.“

—  Erich Fromm German social psychologist and psychoanalyst 1900 - 1980

Human Nature and Social Theory (1969)
Kontext: One will be conducive to cooperation and solidarity another social structure to competition, suspiciousness, avarice; another to child-like receptiveness, another to destructive aggressiveness. All empirical forms or human needs and drives have to be understood as results of the social practice (in the last analysis based on the productive forces, class structure, etc., etc.) but they all have to fulfill the functions which are inherent in man’s nature in general, and that is to permit him to relate himself to others and share a common frame of reference, etc. The existential contradiction within man (to which I would now add also the contradiction between limitations which reality imposes on his life, and the virtually limitless imagination which his brain permits him to follow) is what I believe to be one of the motives of psychological and social dynamics. Man can never stand still. He must find solutions to this contradiction, and ever better solutions to the extent to which reality enables him.
The question then arises whether there is an optimal solution which can be inferred from man’s nature, and which constitutes a potential tendency in man. I believe that such optimal solutions can be inferred from the nature of man, and I have recently found it quite useful to think in terms of what in sociology and economy is now often called »system analysis«. One might start with the idea, in the first place, that human personality — just like society — is a system, that is to say, that each part depends on every other, and no part can be changed unless all or most other parts are also changed. A system is better than chaos. If a society system disintegrates or is destroyed by blows from the outside the society ends in chaos, and a completely new society is built upon its ruins, often using the elements of the destroyed system to build the new. That has happened many times in history. But, what also happens is that the society is not simply destroyed but that the system is changed, and a new system emerges which can be considered to be a transformation of the old one.

Ervin László Foto

„The description of the evolutionary trajectory of dynamical systems as irreversible, periodically chaotic, and strongly nonlinear fits certain features of the historical development of human societies. But the description of evolutionary processes, whether in nature or in history, has additional elements. These elements include such factors as the convergence of existing systems on progressively higher organizational levels, the increasingly efficient exploitation by systems of the sources of free energy in their environment, and the complexification of systems structure in states progressively further removed from thermodynamic equilibrium.
General evolution theory, based on the integration of the relevant tenets of general system theory, cybernetics, information and communication theory, chaos theory, dynamical systems theory, and nonequilibrium thermodynamics, can convey a sound understanding of the laws and dynamics that govern the evolution of complex systems in the various realms of investigation…. The basic notions of this new discipline can be developed to give an adequate account of the dynamical evolution of human societies as well. Such an account could furnish the basis of a system of knowledge better able to orient human beings and societies in their rapidly changing milieu.“

—  Ervin László Hungarian musician and philosopher 1932

E. Laszlo et al. (1993) pp. xvii- xix; as cited in: Alexander Laszlo and Stanley Krippner (1992) " Systems Theories: Their Origins, Foundations, and Development http://archive.syntonyquest.org/elcTree/resourcesPDFs/SystemsTheory.pdf" In: J.S. Jordan (Ed.), Systems Theories and A Priori Aspects of Perception. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 1998. Ch. 3, pp. 47-74.

„Let us begin by observing that the word "system" is almost never used by itself; it is generally accompanied by an adjective or other modifier: physical system; biological system; social system; economic system; axiom system; religious system; and even "general" system. This usage suggests that, when confronted by a system of any kind, certain of its properties are to be subsumed under the adjective, and other properties are subsumed under the "system," while still others may depend essentially on both. The adjective describes what is special or particular; i. e., it refers to the specific "thinghood" of the system; the "system" describes those properties which are independent of this specific "thinghood."
This observation immediately suggests a close parallel between the concept of a system and the development of the mathematical concept of a set. Given any specific aggregate of things; e. g., five oranges, three sticks, five fingers, there are some properties of the aggregate which depend on the specific nature of the things of which the aggregate is composed. There are others which are totally independent of this and depend only on the "set-ness" of the aggregate. The most prominent of these is what we can call the cardinality of the aggregate…
It should now be clear that system hood is related to thinghood in much the same way as set-ness is related to thinghood. Likewise, what we generally call system properties are related to systemhood in the same way as cardinality is related to set-ness. But systemhood is different from both set-ness and from thinghood; it is an independent category.“

—  Robert Rosen American theoretical biologist 1934 - 1998

Quelle: "Some comments on systems and system theory," (1986), p. 1-2 as quoted in George Klir (2001) Facets of Systems Science, p. 4

Richard L. Daft Foto

„Each element in the system is ignorant of the behaviour of the system as a whole, it responds only to information that is available to it locally… If each element 'knew' what was happening to the system as a whole, all of the complexity would have to be present in that element.“

—  Paul Cilliers South African philosopher 1956 - 2011

Quelle: Complexity and Postmodernism (1998), p. 4-5; as cited in: Peter Buirski, ‎Amanda Kottler (2007) New Developments in Self Psychology Practice http://books.google.nl/books?id=PinroXBLDkIC&pg=PA9, p. 9

„Systems don't need to be changed. The trick is for a trader to develop a system with which he is compatible.“

—  Ed Seykota American commodities trader 1946

Quelle: Schwager, Jack D., Market Wizards, HarperCollins (1989), page 159, ISBN 0-88730-610-1

Talcott Parsons Foto

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