One can define system as a certain number of elements and their relations. It can be seen as a simple notion that demands a complex theory to explain it. To speak of a system is also a way of considering the same thing both as a whole and as the sum of its parts. It aims to overcome the limits of explanatory models based on a simple and linear causality and to oppose the fragmentation of science. The contributions to this rich theoretical resource came from such fields as biology, physics, and psychology. In the course of its development, general systems theory left behind its biological and organic roots and started influencing new scientific fields, including sociology, and supporting the analysis of a wide ...

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