Situational Analysis: Yes — Radical Systems Theory: No.

  • Arne Friemuth Petersen
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASID, volume 56)


By way of introduction I wish to say that, for some time, I shared the hope with many others that a General System Theory as von Bertalanffy could be the right way of describing human and animal biology. However, this hope dwindled when I learned from Jacques Monod and his book, Le hasard et la necessite (1970, pp. 93f.), that such an approach is not only too vague to be applied to living organisms but also, and worse, that it has a tendency to reward its practitioners with a crude feeling of omniscience — which, in its turn, makes it inexpedient for them to learn something more specific about living beings and their behaviour. What we should do, Monod said, is to study subsystems and their interrelations with whatever methods we find functional in order to come to understand at least these aspects of the organisms more precisely. A complete picture of organisms, as envisaged by General System Theory, will never be accessible to us.


Dynamic System Theory Dynamic System Approach General System Theory Personality Psychology Animal Biology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

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  • Arne Friemuth Petersen

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