New book chapter: ‘Systems and Organizations Theoretical tools, conceptual distinctions and epistemological implications’

Bich, L. (2016). Systems and Organizations. Theoretical tools, conceptual distinctions and epistemological implications. In G. Minati, M, Ambram, E. Pessa (eds.), Towards a Post-Bertalanffy Systemics, New York : Springer, 203-209.

 

Paper available at Springer Link: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-24391-7_21

Preprint here

 

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to present some system-theoretical notions ─ such as constraint, closure, integration, coordination, etc. ─ which have recently raised a renovated interest and have undergone a deep development, especially in those branches of philosophy of biology characterized by a systemic approach. The implications of these notions for the analysis and characterization of self-maintaining organizations will be discussed with the aid of examples taken from models of minimal living systems, and some conceptual distinctions will be provided. In the last part of the paper the epistemic implications of these ideas will be presented.

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  • "To say that a system is complex […] is to say that we can describe the same system in a variety of distinct ways […]. Therefore a system is simple to the extent that a single description suffices to account for our interaction with the system; it is complex to the extent that it fails to be true." (Robert Rosen, 1978)
  • “Complexity is not an intrinsic property of a system nor of a system description. Rather, it arises from the number of ways in which we are able to interact with the system. Thus, complexity is a function not only of the system’s interactive capabilities, but of our own”
    (Robert Rosen, 1985)

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