General and Social Systems

Berrien, Kenneth

One of the great frustrations in writing about general systems comes from the difficulty of finding, not just the right starting point, but the order of presentation even after the exposition has begun to unfold. The concepts are so much of an integrated whole that to talk about one presupposes some acquaintance with others. Even to define a system requires some understanding of a boundary. The latter has no meaning except as it is an aspect of the system. Adaptation is the consequence of certain kinds of system processes, but these processes are not describable unless one first understands adaptation. The theory of general systems is itself a system.

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