of thinking that takes a holistic
view of complex events
or phenomenon, seemingly caused by myriad of isolated, independent
, and usually unpredictable factors or forces. ST views all events and phenomenon as 'wholes' interacting according to systems principles
in a few basic patterns called systems archetypes. These patterns underlie vastly different events and phenomenon such as diminishing returns
from efforts, spread
diseases, and fulfillment
in personal relationships. ST stands in contrast to the analytic or mechanistic
thinking that all phenomenon can be understood by reducing them to their ultimate elements.
It recognizes that systems ('organized wholes') ranging from SOAP bubbles to galaxies, and ant colonies to nations, can be better understood only when their wholeness (identity and structural integrity) is maintained, thus permitting the study
of the properties of the wholes instead of the properties of their components. As a modeling language, ST illustrates cause-and-effect (causal) relationships that cannot be adequately explained by the 'subject-verb-object' constructions of natural languages such as English. As a discipline
, ST was first proposed by the Russian researcher A. Bogdanov (who called it tektology) in his 1912 book 'The General Science
Of Organization: Essays In Tektology,' and owes its modern status
to the biologist Ludwig Von Bertallanfy who in 1954 helped establish
what is now called 'Society Of General Systems Research
.' Previously called tektology. See also general systems theory.