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Systems Are Theory

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Systems are theory. They are distinguished by observers, scientific or intellectual, and talked about with other observers. They describe a complexity, consisting of a highly integrated differentiation, established and maintained by a boundary, which selectively separates a unit from and connects it with an environment as seen by an observer. The paper looks at the history of the notion of systems from the Greeks and the Scholastics up to its peak in the Enlightenment era; then describes the sociological reception of the notion with Auguste Comte, Vilfredo Pareto, Talcott Parsons, and Niklas Luhmann; and finally, concludes with notes on complexity, the observer, and negation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2017

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