Complex Thinking for a Complex World – About Reductionism, Disjunction and Systemism

The following theses will be elaborated on: (a) The whole is at the same time more and less than its parts; (b) We must abandon the term “object” for systems because all the objects are systems and parts of systems; (c) System and organization are the two faces of the same reality; (d) Eco-systems illustrate self-organization.

When thinking about systems, the first thing to note is that systems are complex. They are complex in several senses. First, systems include many connections between parts that appear as separate entities when viewed from the perspective of the classical scientific disciplines. Second, the system is a unity even though it is comprised of a diversity of parts. Thus we have the primary definition of the complexity of a system, given by Ashby as being a measure of the diversity of parts within the system. This was the first important definition of complexity in the field of science. However, I maintain that a system is also complex in a logical sense, because when you look at a complex problem you immediately see the limits of classical logic, because we can see that the system is, at the same time, both more and less than the sum of its parts.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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