๐‹๐ฎ๐๐ฐ๐ข๐  ๐ฏ๐จ๐ง ๐๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐š๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ฒ ๐จ๐ง ๐†๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ฅ ๐’๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐“๐ก๐ž๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ

Ludwig von Bertalanffy

Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1901-1972) was an Austrian biologist who is best known for his work developing General Systems Theory. He strongly advocated for an interdisciplinary approach to solving complex problems.

General Systems Theory

Bertalanffy remains influential for his work developing General Systems Theory (GST) in the 1940s. Laying the foundation for systems thinking, GST emphasizes the consideration of interrelationships and interactions between system components and how they give rise to emergent properties.

Definition of a System

Bertalanffy emphasized of the importance of considering a system as a whole rather than focusing on individual components.

โ€œProgress is possible only by passing from a state of undifferentiated wholeness to a differentiation of parts.โ€

Holistic Approach to Systems

Bertalanffy emphasized the importance of considering a system as a whole rather than focusing on individual components.

โ€œProgress is possible only by passing from a state of undifferentiated wholeness to a differentiation of parts.โ€

Hierarchy

โ€œThere appear to exist general system laws which apply to any system of a certain type, irrespective if the particular properties of the system and of the elements involved.โ€

Open and Closed Systems

โ€œEvery living organism is essentially an open system. It maintains itself in a continuous inflow and outflow, a building up and breaking down of components, never being, so long as it is alive, in a state of chemical and thermodynamic equilibrium but maintained in a so-called steady state which is distinct from the latter.โ€

Feedback and Control

โ€œThe general notion in communication theory is that of information. In many cases, the flow of information corresponds to a flow of energy, e.g. if light waves emitted by some objects reach the eye or a photoelectric cell, elicit some reaction of the organism or some machinery, and thus convey information.โ€

Emergent Properties

Bertalanffy theorized that systems can exhibit properties and behaviors that emerge from interactions of their components.

Human as a Mass Robot

โ€œThe concept of man as mass robot was both an expression of and a powerful motive force in industrialized mass society. It was the basis for behavioral engineering in commercial, economic, political and other advertising and propaganda; the expanding economy of the โ€˜affluent societyโ€™ could not subsist without such manipulation.โ€

More on General Systems Theory

Passages quoted are from General Systems Theory (1968). They were retrieved from panarchy.org. Images created with Midjourney.