On Purposeful Systems

On Purposeful Systems

by Russell L. Ackoff, Fred Emery
     
 

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This book provides an innovative foundation for looking at human and social behavior— as a system of purposeful (teleological) events. It uses a systems theoretical approach for the study of these phenomena, and illustrates and extends general systems theory.

Part One develops the concepts of traditional mechanism from which, successively, the concepts of

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Overview

This book provides an innovative foundation for looking at human and social behavior— as a system of purposeful (teleological) events. It uses a systems theoretical approach for the study of these phenomena, and illustrates and extends general systems theory.

Part One develops the concepts of traditional mechanism from which, successively, the concepts of "function," "choice," "goal-seeking," and "purposefulness" are derived, leading to a quantitative formulation of "personality". Part Two provides an analysis of aspects of purposeful behavior and personality, and Part Three explores the interaction of purposeful systems. Part Four is concerned with the study of social groups and ideal-seeking behavior. Finally, structural concepts underpinning the theoretical system are redefined in technological terms, thus demonstrating the non-vicious circularity and interdependence of all scientific concepts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What makes this book "magical" is that Ackoff provides "operational definitions" for many ill-defined words and concepts—from defining "knowledge" and "understanding" to providing definitions of feelings/emotions.... In terms of Kuhn's idea of "paradigm shifts"—this book represents a shift that has yet to be appreciated, thirty years later." —W. Curtiss Priest, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780914105008
Publisher:
Intersystems Publications
Publication date:
03/28/1982
Series:
Systems Inquiry Ser.
Pages:
296

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