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Systems Theory

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The systems theory (also known as General systems theory , abbreviated with the acronym TGS ) consists of a multidisciplinary approach which focuses on the particularities common to various entities. The biologist of Austrian origin Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1901 -1972 ), historians say, it was he who was responsible for introducing this concept in the middle of twentieth century .

According to specialists, it can be defined as a theory versus other theories , since it seeks general value rules that can be applied to all kinds of systems and with any degree of reality. It should be noted that the systems consist of ordered modules of parts that are interrelated and interact with each other.

You can distinguish between a conceptual or ideal system (based on an organized group of definitions, symbols and other instruments linked to thinking) and one real (a material entity with ordered components that interact so that the properties of the set cannot be fully deduced from the properties of the parts).

Although systems theory came from the hand of a specialist in biology , over time it extended to different fields of study, such as the cybernetics and the information . German sociologist Niklas Luhmann (1927 -1998 ) has been one of those responsible for adapting and applying it in the field of social sciences.

Among the principles of theory of systems, we can mention the use of the same concepts to describe the main features of different systems, the search for general laws that facilitate the understanding of the dynamics of any system and the formalization of the descriptions of reality. In conclusion, it can be highlighted that it has a dynamic, multidimensional and multidisciplinary character .

Open and closed systems

A system is considered open when it is permanently related to its environment, exchanging energy, matter and information. Instead, it is closed if this interaction is minimal, since it uses its own pool of resources; As a result of this lack of communication, its components do not undergo any modification.

The systems to which the cells, plants, insects, man himself belong, are open; present a constant trend towards evolution and present a structural order. The closed ones, on the other hand, do not establish an order or differentiation of their elements; therefore, distribute the energy evenly.

Properties of an open system

* Totality: a system is a whole comprised of its components and its properties, an organization in which the behavior and expression of each one affects and is affected by others. This type of system is much more than the mere sum of each of its parts;

* Objective: Although a system has been conceived dysfunctionally, it always has a common objective and tends to survival, struggles not to disintegrate, however damaging this group may seem to some of its members;

* Equifinality: the same result can be obtained from terms different, as well as the same origin can lead to different ends, because the key point is the nature of the organization and the interaction between its components;

* Protection and growth: in the systems a force coexists that makes the system maintain its previous state and another that causes changes in it, which ensures at the same time the stability and adaptation to new situations;

* Equipotentiality: associated with the phrase "the past does not exist and the future is unpredictable", it defines that the same beginning can lead to different results, than to the to become extinct One component, another can take its place.

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