Systems Thinkers

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Springer Science & Business Media, Sep 29, 2009 - Computers - 316 pages
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Systems Thinkers presents a biographical history of the field of systems thinking, by examining the life and work of thirty of its major thinkers. It discusses each thinker’s key contributions, the way this contribution was expressed in practice and the relationship between their life and ideas. This discussion is supported by an extract from the thinker’s own writing, to give a flavour of their work and to give readers a sense of which thinkers are most relevant to their own interests.

Systems thinking is necessarily interdisciplinary, so that the thinkers selected come from a wide range of areas – biology, management, physiology, anthropology, chemistry, public policy, sociology and environmental studies among others. A significant aim of the book is to broaden and deepen the reader’s interest in systems writers, providing an appetising ‘taster’ for each of the 30 thinkers, so that the reader is encouraged to go on to study the published works of the thinkers themselves.

 

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Contents

Chapter 1
1
Early Cybernetics
9
General Systems Theory
54
System Dynamics
96
Soft and Critical Systems
129
Later Cybernetics
177
Complexity Theory
226
Learning Systems
257
The Story Behind This Book
307
Index
311
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