Footprints of General Systems Theory


  • Aleksandar Malecic PhD student


General Systems Theory, unification, patterns, principles, linkage propositions


In order to identify General Systems Theory (GST) or at least have a fuzzy idea of what it might look like, we shall look for its traces on different systems. We shall try to identify such an “animal” by its “footprints”. First we mention some natural and artificial systems relevant for our search, than note the work of other people within cybernetics and identification of systems, and after that we are focused on what unification of different systems approaches and scientific disciplines should take into account (and whether or not it is possible). Axioms and principles are mentioned as an illustration of how to look for GST*. A related but still separate section is about Len Troncale and linkage propositions. After them there is another overview of different kinds of systems (life, consciousness, and physics). The documentary film Dangerous Knowledge and ideas of its characters Georg Cantor, Ludwig Boltzmann, Kurt Gödel, and Alan Turing are analyzed through systems worldview. “Patterns all the way down” and similar ideas by different authors are elaborated and followed by a section on Daniel Dennett’s approach to real patterns. Two following sections are dedicated to Brian Josephson (a structural theory of everything) and Sunny Auyang. After that the author writes about cosmogony, archetypes, myths, and dogmas. The paper ends with a candidate for GST*.