Introduction to Systems Philosophy: Toward a New Paradigm of Contemporary Thought

Laszlo, Ervin

Laszlo points our a major fallacy of the theory of evolution when he writes, "There is nothing in theory of evolution, however, which would indicate the sudden emergence of mentality from a non-mental ancestry. Forms of mentality may, of course, evolve, and evolve by leaps and bounds, but the assumption that at a paricular point in evolution purely physicochemical organic systems transform into psychophysical systems appears arbitrary and unfounded" (p. 152). This book is largely an explanation of systems philosophy, as title implies. One reason he advocates a systems approach is it eliminates the anthropomorphic bias of experience (p. 298). Ludwig Von Bertalanffy writes the intoduction and gives a sweeping overview of the topic. This is followed up in chapter with a continuation of the discussion wherein Abraham Maslow's work is discussed. He mentions that Maslow described two modes of thinking, the atomistic and the holistic. It is the latter which is an indication of a healthy, self-actualized person. Various approaches, such as general systems theory, cybernetics, information and game theory all have a common denominator in viewing entities as holistic systems we're told. Chapter two moves the discussion forward to cover methodology. He points out that isomorphy of laws in different contexts seems to indicate that systems have certain universal similarities. Overall this is a timeless, useful introduction to viewing reality from a holistic, interactive, interdependent, perspective.

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