Reasoning about Systems and their Properties

  • Richard Veryard


Jerry Fodor once noted wisely that scholarship is the process by which butterflies are transmuted into caterpillars. Following this thought, I present this paper as a chrysalis: it lacks the spontaneity and debate of the live meetings at which some of this material was originally presented, but it has not gained a polished apparatus to support every assertion and anticipate every possible objection. I hope to clarify and develop my position in future writings and discussions. For the present, I trust that this paper will provoke thought and debate, as well as setting some general challenges for the field of systems engineering. Thanks are due to Aidan Ward for comments on the draft version.


Intermediate Outcome System Property Front Wheel Holistic Property Entire Edifice 
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Further Reading

  1. Bateson, G. Read everything, but start with Mind and Nature. Bantam Books, 1979.Google Scholar
  2. Goodman, P.S. and Associates, Change in Organizations. Jossey-Bass, 1984. Especially recommended are the contributions by Chris Argyris, Kenwyn Smith and Karl Weick.Google Scholar
  3. Heraclitus. The edition I use is Fragments: A Text and Translation, with a Commentary by T.M. Robinson, University of Toronto Press, 1987.Google Scholar
  4. Latour, B. Science in Action, Harvard University Press, 1987.Google Scholar
  5. Locke, D. Science as Writing, Yale University Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  6. Morgan, G. Images of Organization, Sage, 1986.Google Scholar
  7. Veryard, R, Plug and Play: Towards the Component-Based Business, Springer-Verlag, 2000.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Veryard

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