Systems theory is a set of theoretical concepts used to understand a wide variety of phenomena in terms of a model called a system. It is based upon a method of reasoning called synthesis. Synthesis is a holistic paradigm that understands entities in terms of their nexus of relations and functioning within the whole environment that they are a part of.
This book is an introduction to the key concepts within systems theory. Systems theory has been defined as an approach that attempts to balance holistic and analytical reasoning. In systems theory, it is argued that the only way to
This course is an overview of the foundational concepts within system theory, in particular, it is focused on conveying what we call the systems paradigm that is the basic overarching principles that are common to all areas of systems thinking and theory. During the course we will be focused on systems thinking as a way of seeing the whole and the parts, seeing nonlinear causes instead of simple linear cause and effect, seeing dynamic patterns instead of flash shots of events.
Newtonian Paradigm The Newtonian paradigm is also called the "clockwork universe" as it sees the universe as being comparable to a large clock composed of many cogs interacting in a linear and deterministic fashion The Newtonian paradigm, also called the clockwork universe, is the scientific paradigm that supports modern science being characterized by [...]
Systems Paradigm A paradigm in its most general sense can be understood as a way of seeing the world, a worldview or culture A paradigm is a standard, perspective, or set of ideasView Source that form a worldview underlying the theories and methodology of a particular domain.View Source The systems paradigm, [...]
Integration Systems integrity is an important concept in that it defines a system's capacity to function as an entirety Integration means the bringing together or connecting of things. It is the act of combining or adding parts to make a unified whole.View Source As such it can be defined as the opposite [...]
Interdependence Interdependence defines a state where all parts are autonomous, none are directly dependent on any other but all are interrelated in enabling the overall system Interdependence is one of the central concepts within systems theory in that most definitions for a system involve the idea of interdependency between a set of parts.View [...]
Relational Paradigm The relational paradigm is focused on how the relations between a system's parts can be a determining factor Relational thinking is a way of seeing the world that places greater precedence on the relations or connections between entities rather than simply looking at those entities as discrete. The main overarching principle [...]
Integration and Differentiation Systems integration and differentiation describes a dynamic interplay between the whole of a system and it parts Integration and differentiation represent two different stages during the evolution of a system. Differentiation is the process whereby an integrated system becomes divided up into more specialized, well-defined parts. Integration is the process whereby [...]