Qualitative Systems Thinking

Anthony Malcolm Hodgson

Abstract


This paper explains the philosophy and formalism behind General Systematics, illustrates the first eight systems in relation to the design of a sustainable democracy and then develops some diagnostics of our current shortfall from such a sustainable democracy. Aspects of well known systems thinking approaches are summarised as a way of positioning systematics ias a qualitaitve approach. Systematics enables multi-perspective thinking through different orders of system from simple to complex. The scheme of n-term systems referred to as monad, dyad, triad, tetrad etc oup to duodecad is outlined. The illustration of applying this to designing a sustainable democracy shows its relevance for eliciting holistic and cross-disciplinary perspectives in the area of socio-technical messes. Systematics as an appreciative system enables a more inclusive, cross-disciplinary and holistic understanding to be discussed.

Keywords


general systematics, appreciative systems, inquiry systems, isomorphism, complexity, connectedness, science of qualities, socio-technical messes, cross-disciplinary, n-term systems, monad, dyad, tetrad, pentad, hexad, septad, octad, sustainability, via

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