Tentative Conclusions in Two Steps

  • Kirsten von Elverfeldt
Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)


The newer system theories from physics, biology, and also from sociology can be summarized under the generic term “second order systems theories”, as all of them have been developed within the paradigm of self-organisation. Still, they are different: They start from different basic assumptions and, most of all, are concerned with completely different research objects. For example, one focuses on biological systems, whilst the others deal with thermodynamic or social systems. Importantly, this does not imply that second order systems theories are contradictory. Consequently, if geomorphology adopted some thoughts and approaches from biological and physical systems theory, no new logical inconsistencies or contradictions should arise. If biological second order systems theory is compared to the theory of dissipative structures it comes as a surprise that, despite the completely different approaches and chosen routes of theory development, there is much common ground.


Common Ground Entropy Production Dissipative Structure Logical Inconsistency Autopoietic System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirsten von Elverfeldt
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Geographie und Regionalforschung, Fakultät für WirtschaftswissenschaftenAlpen-Adria-Universität KlagenfurtKlagenfurtAustria

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