Exploring the Philosophical Paradigm of Grey Systems Theory as a Postmodern Theory
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Every scientific or intellectual movement is founded upon basic assumptions and hypotheses that shape its specifically formulated philosophy. This study seeks to explore and explicate the basic philosophical underpinnings of grey systems theory (GST), as well as the paradigm governing its postulates. The study, more specifically, scrutinizes the underlying principles of GST from the perspective of postmodern philosophy. To accomplish this, the epistemology, ontology, human nature, and methodology of GST are substantially investigated in the light of postmodern philosophy. The study draws on Burrell and Morgan’s framework to reveal the paradigm underlying the philosophy of GST. Results demonstrate that GST is an anti-realistic, anti-positivistic, and non-deterministic theory which is inherently pluralistic and ideographic. Based on the principles of GST, change is an indispensable dimension of human speculation about the world and systems, and knowledge is ceaselessly reproduced as new information is collected. As a result, knowledge, narratives, theories and scientific laws are dynamically changed. GST, then, is remarkably compatible with the foundations of postmodern thought and it could be regarded as a postmodern theory governed by a humanistic paradigm.
KeywordsGrey systems theory Uncertain systems Philosophy of grey systems theory Postmodernism Paradigms Basic assumptions
This work was supported by a Project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71671091), a Project of Intelligence Introduction Base of the Ministry of Science and Technology(G20190010178), a Project of Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union entitled “Grey Systems and Its Application to Data Mining and Decision Support” (Grant No. 629051). It is also supported by a joint Project of both the NSFC and the RS of the UK entitled “On grey dynamic scheduling model of complex product based on sensing information of internet of things” (71811530338), a Project of the Leverhulme Trust International Network entitled “Grey Systems and Its Applications” (IN-2014-020), and a Project of China Postdoctoral Science Foundation(2018M642254). Also, the authors would like to acknowledge the support provided by the Postdoctoral Foundation of Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
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