Historical perspectives on the ISSS: Concluding remarks [Debora Hammond, ISSS 1998 Paper Session, July 22/98]

[Paper session, July 22/98, 5.25 p.m.]

Debora Hammond, Sonoma State U.

History on ISSS, but primarily on founders

Dissertation is available through UMI Motivation of the project, then approach, then discuss last chapters.

Social implications of systems theory.

First heard of Capra talking about looking a systemic approach Work on postmodern thought -- modern perspectives -- was foreshadowed in von Bertalanffy
  1. However, von Bertalanffy was contradictory -- systems as mathematical.
  2. Importance of environment and context is important to both
  3. Social construction of knowledge -- Boulding, different levels of perception, and filtering.
Differences between systems theory and postmodern thought: West Churchman pointed her to this group. James Grier Miller at U. of Chicago fostered cooperation between psych, soc and biology department. Sources of systems thinking:
  1. Engineering and management:
  2. Organismic models, fed by engineering and management
  3. Cybernetics and information n theory
  4. Ecology and social theory:
Then core of dissertation on the founders: Then looked at establishment and evolution of ISSS. Last chapter, return to Lilian Feld, and look at contemporary critiques. Leotard: two views of society: In closing, last few paragraphs of the book ...


On the bad impression of systems theory: Habermas doesn't believe that system theory is technocratic, but the English translator of his new book writes this in introduction

Ecologies as a systems concept

Is this a criticism that the problems that they chose were too large? Idea of the unity of science: people not looking for the grand theory at all. What is the future of the ISSS?

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