general system theory


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general system theory

The theory that all living systems are open systems constantly exchanging information, matter, and energy with the environment. There are three levels of reference for systems: the system level on which one is focusing, (such as a person); the suprasystems level above the focal system, (such as a person's family, community, and culture); and the subsystem, which is below the focal system, (such as the bodily systems and the cell). The theory suggests that the treatment of people is more important than the treatment of illnesses.
See: holistic medicine
See also: theory
References in periodicals archive ?
This includes problems in biology, psychology, sociology, epistemology, general system theory and philosophical anthropology, to which Bertalanffy made contributions with his organismic and system approach.
General System Theory, 1986 (also in German) The Origins of Violence, 1989 (also in German) Decision Theory and Decision Behavior, 1989 (second revised edition 1998)
Bertalanffy first presented his thoughts on general system theory (GST) in 1937 at the University of Chicago, but the first paper was published only 12 years later in 1949 although it was meant to appear in 1945.
The natural view of the 'generative theory' goes beyond that of the 'constitutive theory' provided by Newton mechanics, and it is different from the constitutive thoughts provided by the general system theory which holds that 'the whole of the system is composed of its parts'.
The second wave of the systems movement was the interdisciplinary research arising after the World War II, with General System Theory and Cybernetics as the theoretical basis, and with the help of Information Theory, Operational Research, Systems Analysis and some applied subjects.

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