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To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. I'm usually a binary guy: there are books I like and can't get enough of, there are books I hate and reading through them is a chore.
General System Theory by Ludwig von Bertalanffy was something in-between. General System Theory is an attempt to formulate a new kind of branch of science.
One that focuses on analyzing systems i. The new method would bridge the gap between other sciences, help the tighten the diaspora of current science: turning specialists into generalists, and even solve society's ills This is wherein lines my biggest gripe with the book.
It setups itself to be this amazing thing: a new frontier, a new mental model of understanding, the introduction of new tools, a system of philosophy. Instead it feels like a grocery list of system properties feedback, equilibrium, equifinality , and analysis of some types of systems. The concepts presented by the author are mind-bending even if they are presented dryly - mind bending enough to keep me hooked, yet there's a serious lack of tying principles or even basic pedagogy.
Nothing clicked during reading the book, the book doesn't present any method of analysis or anything that could be applied outside of it's scope. As such the book fails miserably at its advertised goal. I think that the idea of General System Theory is important enough to warrant an extensive research but the book feels more like a loud-advertisement followed by hand-waving.
I read this book when I was first graduated from college and had been working with computer systems for a while. I exhibited a natural ability for problem determination, but I did not have the ability to teach it. This book and more important, the people whom it influenced and who in turn influenced me, gave me that ability for which I will forever be grateful. View 1 comment.
The value of the work is twofold. First, the presentation of General System Theory in and of itself and second, Bertalanffy himself providing a method of thinking by taking the reader through his own process of getting to General System Theory. I read this book knowing that some of it would be outdated, however since I was unfamiliar with the field I assumed that would be fine. I think I was, there are obviously new developments in this field, but I think this works provides a good foundation.
The The value of the work is twofold. The chapters are repetitive as it's clearly explained in the book itself because it's a collection of works by Bertalanffy that were previously published in academic journals.
I actually found that to be helpful, as I gained from reading the same theory from a different perspective each time, biology, physics, psychology etc. Bertalanffy is writing for an academic audience in these journals, expecting that his audience has the same educational background in a variety of fields like he does.
He expects the reader to be familiar with differential equations and other math. I didn't find this to be a problem, other than one of expectations, like any academic level work, expect to spend some time with a dictionary and an encyclopedia.
I found myself skimming through equations, then going back to them for a seconds or third reading then looking them up on the internet for more details. He also frequently uses words in French, German, Latin, often without translation.
A groundbreaking book which came out for almost half a century ago with the aim to propose a world view in systems perspective, and show how general system-theoretical approaches could be applied in different fields of human science and technology.
In the initial sections of the book theoretical considerations and principles are discussed. These are the sections where basically all general ideas presented holds fine even today. Remaining sections are more or less like history lessons. Many of the concepts that were only open questions back then are already solved today. The emphasis of the book is mainly on human sciences - biology, sociology, psychology, and, to some extent, psychiatrics.
Some parts of the book are quite challenging for a non-biologist. Back in those days, and even today, this classical book served well in an attempt to unify science. Every system thinker dealing with degrees of complexity can certainly benefit of reading this classic text. This book plays a prominent role in history.
It introduces a framework that is used in design, economic development, Computer Science, and several other areas. It defines a system and how they work.
The author takes theories in biology and makes them accessible to other disciplines. The materials are fairly outdated and the chapters sometimes seem to run on at times. Several mathematical models were well outside my comfort for understanding and at times felt just a bit too in the weeds given the This book plays a prominent role in history.
Several mathematical models were well outside my comfort for understanding and at times felt just a bit too in the weeds given the objectives of the book. Overall, anyone working in systems should read the earlier chapters. The second half is far too specific and complex to be relevant today.
I could not stop reading this book. The theory presented in the chapters is fascinating and I personally liked the style of the author. Some of the mathematics was far off from me, but the thesis of the book can be understood without it. This book is less about systems theory and more about search for the one. Some abstract concepts and cross-sciences analysis are quite interesting, but there is a strong feeling that these things are already outdated.
A little technical in places for those of us whose differential calculus is a little rusty, but still very readable. It all comes together nicely and the final section on application to psychiatry is intriguing. I would read this first, then Laszlo. Un gran libro. Muy interesante. Bertalanffy un gran pensador. Ideas concisas. Muy valiosas. Cualquiera que le guste la complejidad debe leerlo.
I read this book in order to learn more about the system theory of management but this book is heavily focused on biology, organism and pyhsics.. Great to learn about open systems even if you aren't able to follow the math. Raccolta di saggi scritti lungo un arco di tempo piuttosto consistente.
Who needs philosophy when one has the systems perspective at one's disposal? This is a book about an original at least when most of the material was written , yet somewhat fuzzy idea, at least well illustrated through what it is and what it is not. Many examples and interesting points will give you food for thought.
It is repetitive sometimes, perhaps due to its original editing from articles. But it is well written and still up to date, although I believe many areas have been further developed, so the reader is adviced to look up the recent literature.
In any case, the This is a book about an original at least when most of the material was written , yet somewhat fuzzy idea, at least well illustrated through what it is and what it is not. In any case, the fundamental concepts are clearly stated and found in this book, written by one of the or perhaps the father s of general systems theory.
Not a friendly reading, its target market is a very specific one, scientist, mostly biologist with philosophy knowledge. From there he cites, critics and explains various authors and kind of explains his proposal somewhere in between.
I view this book as the original
Ludwig von Bertalanffy
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Teoría general de los sistemas
This is an interdisciplinary practice that describes systems with interacting components, applicable to biology , cybernetics and other fields. Bertalanffy proposed that the classical laws of thermodynamics might be applied to closed systems, but not necessarily to "open systems" such as living things. His mathematical model of an organism's growth over time, published in , is still in use today. Ludwig von Bertalanffy was born and grew up in the little village of Atzgersdorf now Liesing near Vienna. The Bertalanffy family had roots in the 16th century nobility of Hungary which included several scholars and court officials. Ludwig's father Gustav von Bertalanffy — was a prominent railway administrator.
Bertalanffy, Ludwig von 1901-1972