Establishing an Umbrella Philosophy - Required to Underpin General Systems Unification in a Singular Encompassing Paradigm


  • James N Rose Ceptual Institute


Integrity Paradigm, communication, general theory of entropy~negentropy, systems philosophy, information access


As Strickland & Reveal (John Wiley, 1995) reminded us in “Understanding the Nature of System Change: An Interdisciplinary Approach”,  von Bertalanffy in “General System Theory” (Brazillier, 1968) stated that the original aim of GST was ‘to investigate the isomorphy of concepts, laws, and models in various fields, and to help in useful transfers from one field to another.’   From its inception GST/ISSS has advanced that “embracing and ambitious” noble objective of the founders, through conversations, conferences, forums and publications.


The encyclopaedic diversity of systems, complexities, organizations and levels of behavioral existence is daunting.  Physicists first hinted at the potential for discovering a grand isomorphism, by focusing on the fundamental forces as first place for ‘unification’. That has yet to be accomplished.   In the meantime, Sarton, von Bertalanffy, Whorf, Boulding, Miller, Beer, Rapoport, Rosen et al, opened the spectrum of conversations to include biology, ecology, economics, sociology and more, in a grander sensibility.


And though there have been great investigations, innovative detailings of specific models and math-described ideas, such as H. Odum “emergy”, R. Rosen “entailments”, D.Hebb “systems of systems”, J Rose “integrity paradigm”, among others, conceptual goals have drifted from trying to identify a single isomorphism, to coping with local comparisons and similarities. A grand convergence seemingly is no longer the centerpiece of the conversation roundtable.


The author proposes that it might be beneficial, in order to refresh the vision of GST/ISSS founders, to do a deeper analysis of the philosophy of General System Theory as originally conceived.   Such philosophy was not whole-born, but itself had to be a product of how the universe is organized – was encountered – was recognized – and eventually became appreciated – by human minds.


There is no intention of replacing the diverse wellspring of prior philosophical ideas and mindsets, but rather to hold true to the goal of identifying a shared seminal behavioral rule of performances among systems, to recognize an improved philosophical embracing frame of reference, as a requisite for isomorphism.    An improved essential notion among essentials … rules of performance being the tangible practical aspects, but by better defining the intangible qualities … such as a re-worded 21st century framing of Aristotelian causes, might enable a quantum leap across the impasse chasm that General System (singular) Theory faces.   Potential correlation~calibration resting on a seminal principle of requisitely defined association~communication.


The author looks to re-open that conversation, in hopefully a new way.

Author Biography

James N Rose, Ceptual Institute

General Systems Analyst



How to Cite

Rose, J. N. (2019). Establishing an Umbrella Philosophy - Required to Underpin General Systems Unification in a Singular Encompassing Paradigm. Proceedings of the 62nd Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2018 Corvallis, OR, USA, 1(1). Retrieved from