Systems Philosophy and its relevance to Systems Engineering


  • David Rousseau


Systems Philosophy is the branch of the philosophy of science informed by the systems paradigm. The INCOSE Systems Science Working Group is exploring how Systems Philosophy can be used to support expansion of the theoretical foundations of Systems Engineering (SE). This workshop will present a basic introduction to Systems Philosophy, and use it to explore:

Perspectives on SE as a discipline and the place of SE in the systems disciplinary field;

How Systems Philosophy can help SE and other systems disciplines work together to develop 
mutually beneficial foundations;

How Systems Philosophy and SE can support the development of a General Systems Theory (GST), 
and how working with a GST can help unify and expand the theoretical foundations of SE;

How SEs could leverage expanded theoretical foundations to address increasing complexity of 
engineered systems;

Key programs and projects under way to improve/expand the systems sciences;

Emerging opportunities for richer engagement between Systems Engineering, Systems Science 
and Systems Philosophy. 
The day will consist of seven presentations preparing the ground for four breakout sessions in which participants can explore and develop ideas and plans for strengthening SE using Systems Philosophy.

For more details about the upcoming workshop, please visit our workshops webpage at:

For more details about the "Systems Philosophy for SE" project, please visit our webpage at:



How to Cite

Rousseau, D. (2017). Systems Philosophy and its relevance to Systems Engineering. Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2015 Berlin, Germany, 1(1). Retrieved from