complex systems readings LO6220

Manuel Manga (
Mon, 25 Mar 96 11:12 EST

Replying to LO6180 --

Some additional readings :

Ackoff, Russell L. Redesigning the future. New York: Wiley.

Beer, Stafford. Designing Freedom. CBC. University of Toronto Press.

Maturana Humberto, Francisco Valera. The Tree of Knowledge. Shambala press.

McWhinney, Will. Of Paradigms and System Theories. (Working Paper 3/91)
(Will is a professor at the Fielding Institute, Santa Barbara, Ca).

Commentary : Will McWhinney in his paper "Of Paradigms and System
Theories" has tried to give a history and analysis of Paradigms and
System theories. He describes five types : Evolutionary, Field,
Communications, Dynamic, Classic. He has a map/model that shows the key
contributors in each type/domain and their historical place. I think this
paper is a very good overview, and easy to read. In addition he has
included a glossary and an excellent bibliography.

My personal approach is to distinguish complex systems into three
domains : the mechanical or human made, The natural world,and physics,
and the Biological/Evolutionary/Human world. Given that most of our
social and global problems are the result of human thinking and human
relations I tend to focus on making sense of the human world, and thus
recommend more attention be paid to the biological/evolutionary/human
world theories, so that we can work our way toward more peaceful and
sustainable futures. That does not mean we do not learn about the
other types of systems, or incorporate what we learn into our human

Manuel Manga <>


Manuel Manga <>

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