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June 07, 2005

From Mechanistic to Social Systemic Thinking

Talk presented at "Systems Thinking in Action" conference - November 1993

Reprinted with permission of Pegasus Publishing -- http://www.pegasuscom.com/

Posted by popular demand, the transcript of Russell Ackoff's talk presented at the Systems Thinking in Action conference - November, 1993.

In this fascinating lecture, Ackoff states that we're in the early stages of a change of age - a period in which our world view is transforming from one theory of reality to another.

What happens to any age is the appearance of dilemmas - problems that challenge the validity of the current world view and cannot be solved within it. Such was the case during the Middle Ages - hence, the Renaissance. In our case, we are experiencing a shift from the Machine Age to the Systems Age. 

The Machine Age was characterized by belief in complete understandability of the universe, analysis as a method of inquiry, and cause and effect as a sufficient relationship to explain all.

The dilemma that disrupted such beliefs was systems thinking. The Machine Age began to die, Ackoff states, when we gave up the principle of understandability. Gradually, it's become accepted that there can be no complete understanding of the universe because nothing can be understood independently of its environment - all is environmentally relative. It began to be acknowledged that while analysis produces knowledge, it is synthesis that produces understanding. Furthermore, the Systems Age recognizes that cause and effect is just one way of looking at reality - there are an infinite number of ways.

To read this article, click on the link: From Mechanistic to Social Systemic Thinking.


Posted by ACASA on June 7, 2005 at 02:51 PM in Classics | Permalink


you are my mentor Kudos

Posted by: NathanNachandiya at Aug 1, 2006 12:02:19 PM

you are my mentor Kudos

Posted by: NathanNachandiya at Aug 1, 2006 12:02:07 PM

you are my mentor Kudos

Posted by: NathanNachandiya at Aug 1, 2006 12:02:05 PM

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