A Case for System-Specific Modeling

Gary S. Metcalf


The field of systems grew out of, and then parallel to, science in many ways. In continuing its focus on general principles and the unification of science, though, through a search for isomorphies, much of the value of work in systems may have been missed. Systems are formed around patterns of organization, and the ability to affect specific systems ultimately lies in the ability to recognize and affect those patterns. Despite the early rejection of reductionism, most models and many principles used in systems still rely on characteristics applicable to physics. Softer forms of design and modeling have tended to be vague and non-specific. This paper recommends a next advance in systems, focusing on basic principles of organization at the level of unique systems.


system-specific modeling, systems research, systems science, self-organization

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