Abstract and Keywords
Systems thinking was launched by Ludwig von Bertalanffy and others in the 1950s as an interdisciplinary movement with a broad and bold scientific program. The movement attempts to overcome the dominating mechanistic world picture and related reductionism in the sciences which is regarded as one of the main causes of the problems of the modern world. This chapter discusses the sixty-year history of systems thinking and sketches some main lines of its three domains: systems science, systems approach in technology and management, and systems philosophy. This interdisciplinary movement has stimulated fruitful theory formation in the first mentioned domain, although it has not succeeded in achieving its original far-reaching goals. Furthermore, integrative, interdisciplinary systems approaches in technology and management have become well accepted. Finally, recent developments signal a return to the intellectual-spiritual roots of the systems movement aiming for a renewal of its scientific agenda.
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