Rehabilitating Epistemology

  • John P. van Gigch

Part of the Contemporary Systems Thinking book series (CST)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. John P. van Gigch
    Pages 1-18
  3. John P. van Gigch
    Pages 19-37
  4. John P. van Gigch
    Pages 39-86
  5. John P. van Gigch
    Pages 87-116
  6. John P. van Gigch
    Pages 145-163
  7. John P. van Gigch
    Pages 165-182
  8. John P. van Gigch
    Pages 183-215
  9. John P. van Gigch
    Pages 217-237
  10. John P. van Gigch
    Pages 239-261
  11. John P. van Gigch
    Pages 263-286
  12. John P. van Gigch
    Pages 287-305
  13. John P. van Gigch
    Pages 307-308
  14. John P. van Gigch
    Pages 309-318
  15. Back Matter
    Pages 309-341

About this book


Metadecisions: Rehabilitating Epistemology constitutes an epistemological inquiry about the foundations of knowledge of a scientific discipline. This text warns contemporary scientific disciplines that neglecting epistemological issues threatens the viability of their pronouncements and designs.

It shows that the processes by which complex artefacts are created require a pluralistic approach to artefact design.

It argues that viable solutions to fundamental problems in each discipline require cooperation, creativity and respect for contributions from all walks of life, all levels of logic and all standards of rigor - be they in the natural sciences, the social sciences, engineering sciences, management, the law or political sciences.
Several true cases, obtained from different walks of life are used to illustrate logic levels in problems and how the application of the process of modeling/metamodeling helps to conceptualize problem dysfunctions and to convert decisions into metadecisions.

Ten cases spanning subjects like Doctor Assisted Suicides (DASs), Advising Women on The Risks of Mammograms, a Deregulation Crusade, The Crash of TWA Flight 800, The Control of The World Wide Web, The Creation of the US Department of Homeland Security, among others, are used to illustrate the application of the metasystem framework to increase knowledge and meaning of fundamental problems.

The design of any human activity requires the intervention of several inquiring systems where the manager, the engineer, the scientist, the lawyer, the epistemologist, the ethicist and even the artist contribute to shape how problems in the real-world are formulated, how decisions/metadecisions to solve problems are taken, and finally, how actions are implemented.


epistemology knowledge linear optimization logic management modeling

Authors and affiliations

  • John P. van Gigch
    • 1
  1. 1.California State UniversityUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2003
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4613-4922-8
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4615-0097-1
  • Series Print ISSN 1568-2846
  • Buy this book on publisher's site