The materials are fairly outdated and the chapters sometimes seem to run on at times. Several mathematical models were well outside my comfort for understanding and at times felt just a bit too in the weeds given the objectives of the book.
Overall, anyone working in systems should read the earlier chapters. The second half is far too specific and complex to be relevant today.
General System Theory An Overview General Systems Theory Was Founded By The Biologist Ludwig Von Bertalanffy He Carved Out Common Features From Different Fields Of Knowledge And Described Them In His BookIn The Sense Of General Systems Theory, Technical Systems Are Only One Of Many Possible Fields Of Application Others Would Be, Eg Economics, Sociology, And Psychology Human Social Systems Could Be Seen As A System Just As Well General System Theory Bertalanffy Wikipdia General System Theory FoundationsGathered Here Are Ludwig Von Bertalanffy S Writings On General System Theory, Selected And Edited To Show The Evolution Of Systems Theory And To Present Its Applications To Problem Solving The New Foreword By University Of Vienna System Theory Professor, Wolfgang Hofkirchner, And Centre For Systems Philosophy Director, David Rousseau, Discusses The Theory S Contemporary Applications OffresLudwig Von Bertalanffy, General System TheoryGeneral System Theory Is, In Principle, Capable Of Giving Exact Definitions For Such Concepts And, In Suitable Cases, Of Putting Them To Quantitative Analysis Aims Of A General System Theory General Systems Theory StatPac General Systems Theory Was Originally Proposed By Biologist Ludwig Von Bertalanffy InSince Descartes, The Scientific Method Had Progressed Under Two Related Assumptions A System Could Be Broken Down Into Its Individual Components So That Each Component Could Be Analyzed As An Independent Entity, And The Components Could Be Added In A Linear Fashion To Describe The Totality Of The System General Systems Theory GSTIntroduction General Systems Theory Is The Interdisciplinary Study Of Complex Systems It Is A Process Of Theory Construction Which Focuses On Building Universal Concepts, Postulates, And Principles In This Context, The Term Systems Refer To Self Regulating Systems That Are Self Correcting Through Feedback General Systems Theory Concepts And Limits General Systems Theory Presents A General Theory For All The Systems It Has Developed A Set Of Most Abstract Generalisations Applicable To All Systems For This Avowed Purpose, The General System Theorists Try To Develop Concepts Which Tend To Unify Or Interconnect Various Disciplines They Remain In Search Of Highly Abstract Concepts Relevant To All Kinds Of Systems They Feel A Need For Having A Solid Bertalanffy S General Systems Theory The Bertalanffy S Ideas Were Developed Into A General Systems Theory He Defined A General System As Any Theoretical System Of Interest Tothan One Discipline This New Vision Of Reality Is Based On Awareness Of The Essential Interrelatedness And Inter Dependence Of All Phenomena Physical, Biological, Psychological, Social And Cultural A groundbreaking book which came out for almost half a century ago with the aim to propose a world view in systems perspective, and show how general systemtheoretical approaches could be applied in different fields of human science and technology.
In the initial sections of the book theoretical considerations and principles are discussed. These are the sections where basically all general ideas presented holds fine even today. It’s a good classical textbook, which I safely refer to when working with my systems dynamics applications. Remaining sections are more or less like history lessons. Many of the concepts that were only open questions back then are already solved today. But not all of them, so there’s still a lot of good stuff engaging thinking.
The emphasis of the book is mainly on human sciencesbiology, sociology, psychology, and, to some extent, psychiatrics. Some parts of the book are quite challenging for a nonbiologist. There's a good discussion on open/closedsystems, humanmachine interaction, symbols, finality and equifinality, homeostasis etc.
Back in those days, and even today, this classical book served well in an attempt to unify science. Every system thinker dealing with degrees of complexity can certainly benefit of reading this classic text. This book is less about systems theory and more about search for the one. Some abstract concepts and crosssciences analysis are quite interesting, but there is a strong feeling that these things are already outdated. I read this book in order to learn more about the system theory of management but this book is heavily focused on biology, organism and pyhsics.. therefore; if your main aim is to get familiar with system approach to management, it is not advised. I could not stop reading this book. The theory presented in the chapters is fascinating and I personally liked the style of the author. Some of the mathematics was far off from me, but the thesis of the book can be understood without it. A little technical in places for those of us whose differential calculus is a little rusty, but still very readable. It all comes together nicely and the final section on application to psychiatry is intriguing. I would read this first, then Laszlo. I read this book when I was first graduated from college and had been working with computer systems for a while. I exhibited a natural ability for problem determination, but I did not have the ability to teach it. This book and more important, the people whom it influenced and who in turn influenced me, gave me that ability for which I will forever be grateful. The value of the work is twofold. First, the presentation of General System Theory in and of itself and second, Bertalanffy himself providing a method of thinking by taking the reader through his own process of getting to General System Theory.
I read this book knowing that some of it would be outdated, however since I was unfamiliar with the field I assumed that would be fine. I think I was, there are obviously new developments in this field, but I think this works provides a good foundation.
The chapters are repetitive as it's clearly explained in the book itself because it's a collection of works by Bertalanffy that were previously published in academic journals. I actually found that to be helpful, as I gained from reading the same theory from a different perspective each time, biology, physics, psychology etc.
Bertalanffy is writing for an academic audience in these journals, expecting that his audience has the same educational background in a variety of fields like he does. He expects the reader to be familiar with differential equations and other math. I didn't find this to be a problem, other than one of expectations, like any academic level work, expect to spend some time with a dictionary and an encyclopedia. I found myself skimming through equations, then going back to them for a seconds or third reading then looking them up on the internet for more details. He also frequently uses words in French, German, Latin, often without translation.