„It was a biologist — Ludwig von Bertalanffy — who long ago perceived the essential unity of system concepts and techniques in the various fields of science and who in writings and lectures sought to attain recognition for “general systems theory” as a distinct scientific discipline. It is pertinent to note, however, that the work of Bertalannfy and his school, being motivated primarily by problems arising in the study of biological systems, is much more empirical and qualitative in spirit than the work of those system theorists who received their training in exact sciences.
In fact, there is a fairly wide gap between what might be regarded as “animate” system theorists and “inanimate” system theorists at the present time, and it is not at all certain that this gap will be narrowed, much less closed, in the near future.
There are some who feel this gap reflects the fundamental inadequacy of the conventional mathematics—the mathematics of precisely defined points, functions, sets, probability measures, etc.—for coping with the analysis of biological systems, and that to deal effectively with such systems, we need a radically different kind of mathematics, the mathematics of fuzzy or cloudy quantities which are not describable in terms of probability distributions. Indeed the need for such mathematics is becoming increasingly apparent even in the realms of inanimate systems“
— Lotfi A. Zadeh
Zadeh (1962) "From circuit theory to system theory", Proceedings I.R.E., 1962, 50, 856-865. cited in: Brian R. Gaines (1979) " General systems research: quo vadis? http://pages.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/~gaines/reports/SYS/GS79/GS79.pdf", General Systems, Vol. 24 (1979), p. 12