System Archetypes? LO6399

jack hirschfeld (
Wed, 3 Apr 1996 20:11:49 -0500

Replying to LO6329 --

Rick said:
>So, finally, in reply to your very valid concerns about use of the
>archetypes, I think people start with a set of archetypes already (usually
>un-acknowledged) and practicing Senge's system archetypes can enrich their
>ability to see things in the world. When the new instructor says, "These
>darn loops are everywhere!", it indicates to me that we are building a new
>"organ of perception", an ability to perceive things that people otherwise
>are not very able to perceive.
>To me the determinants of skillfulness are 1) the richness of the library
>of intimately known cases, and 2) skill in adapting and testing in real
>Senge says that becoming a learning organization involves Aspiration,
>Reflection (indivually and jointly), and dealing with Complexity; that
>even if we have great aspirations and good reflection skills, we won't
>get far unless we can understand our complex world. I think the issues
>you are raising are very important in building skills to understand our
>complex world, and I welcome the dialogue you've started.
>Let's see what others want to add on this...

The systems archetypes as you've described them Rick, are constructs about
how we think and perceive, and expand those capabilities. I agree with
this view.

The danger lies, I think, in believing that the world described is the
subject of the archetypes, and not our perceptions and ideas. In this
guise, "systems thinking" adds to the vocabulary of self-deception, and
becomes yet another avenue away from the direct experience of the
universe, which I consider to be the source of knowledge.

Jack Hirschfeld        Nice work if you can get it; and if you get it, won't           you tell me how? 

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