# „A system may actually exist as a natural aggregation of component parts found in Nature, or it may be a man-contrived aggregation – a way of looking at a problem which results from a deliberate decision to assume that a set of elements are related and constitute such a thing called ‘a system.“

—  Charles West Churchman, 1960s - 1970s, C. West Churchman, , I. Auerbach, and Simcha Sadam (1975) Thinking for Decisions Deduction Quantitative Methods. Science Research Associates. cited in: John P. van Gigch (1978) Applied General Systems Theory. Harper & Row Publishers
1913 - 2004

### „A system in one perspective is a subsystem in another. But the systems view always treats systems as integrated wholes of their subsidiary components and never as the mechanistic aggregate of parts in isolable causal relations.“

—  Ervin László Hungarian musician and philosopher 1932
Introduction to Systems Philosophy (1972), p. 14.

### „Let us begin by observing that the word "system" is almost never used by itself; it is generally accompanied by an adjective or other modifier: physical system; biological system; social system; economic system; axiom system; religious system; and even "general" system. This usage suggests that, when confronted by a system of any kind, certain of its properties are to be subsumed under the adjective, and other properties are subsumed under the "system," while still others may depend essentially on both. The adjective describes what is special or particular; i. e., it refers to the specific "thinghood" of the system; the "system" describes those properties which are independent of this specific "thinghood."This observation immediately suggests a close parallel between the concept of a system and the development of the mathematical concept of a set. Given any specific aggregate of things; e. g., five oranges, three sticks, five fingers, there are some properties of the aggregate which depend on the specific nature of the things of which the aggregate is composed. There are others which are totally independent of this and depend only on the "set-ness" of the aggregate. The most prominent of these is what we can call the cardinality of the aggregate…It should now be clear that system hood is related to thinghood in much the same way as set-ness is related to thinghood. Likewise, what we generally call system properties are related to systemhood in the same way as cardinality is related to set-ness. But systemhood is different from both set-ness and from thinghood; it is an independent category.“

—  Robert Rosen American theoretical biologist 1934 - 1998
"Some comments on systems and system theory," (1986), p. 1-2 as quoted in George Klir (2001) Facets of Systems Science, p. 4

### „:1) A mind is an aggregate of interacting parts or components.“

—  Gregory Bateson English anthropologist, social scientist, linguist, visual anthropologist, semiotician and cyberneticist 1904 - 1980
Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity, 1979

### „In considerations involving the nature of the world as a whole the irregularities caused by the aggregation of matter into stars and stellar systems may be ignored; and if we further assume that the total matter in the world has but little effect on its macroscopic properties, we may consider them as being determined by the solution of an empty world.“

—  Howard P. Robertson American mathematician and physicist 1903 - 1961
"On Relativistic Cosmology" (1928)

### „There are progressive degrees of synergy, called synergy-of-synergies, which are complexes of behavior aggregates holistically unpredicted by the separate behaviors of any of their subcomplex components. Any subcomplex aggregate is only a component aggregation of an even greater event aggregation whose comprehensive behaviors are never predicted by the component aggregates alone. There is a synergetic progression in Universe—a hierarchy of total complex behaviors entirely unpredicted by their successive subcomplexes' behaviors. It is manifest that Universe is the maximum synergy-of-synergies, being utterly unpredicted by any of its parts.“

—  Buckminster Fuller American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor and futurist 1895 - 1983
1970s, Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking (1975), "Synergy" onwards, 150.01 http://www.rwgrayprojects.com/synergetics/s01/p5000.html

### „Thus, there exist models, principles, and laws that apply to generalized systems or their subclasses, irrespective of their particular kind, the nature of their component elements, and the relations or „forces‟ between them. It seems legitimate to ask for a theory, not of systems of a more or less special kind, but of universal principles applying to systems in general. In this way, we postulate a new discipline called General Systems Theory. Its subject matter is the formulation and derivation of those principles, which are valid for „systems‟ in general.“

—  Ludwig von Bertalanffy austrian biologist and philosopher 1901 - 1972
General System Theory (1968), 2. The Meaning of General Systems Theory, p. 32

### „Newton achieved the clearest appreciation of the relation between the empirical elements in a scientific system and the hypothetical elements derived from a philosophy of nature.“

—  Alistair Cameron Crombie Australian zoologist, historian of science 1915 - 1996
Alistair Cameron Crombie, as quoted by John Freely in Before Galileo; The Birth of Modern Science in Medieval Europe http://books.google.com/books?id=MfhjAAAAQBAJ (2012).

### „A system is more than the sum of its parts; it is an indivisible whole. It loses its essential properties when it is taken apart. The elements of a system may themselves be systems, and every system may be part of a larger system.“

—  Russell L. Ackoff Scientist 1919 - 2009
1970s, Ackoff (1973) "Science in the Systems Age: beyond IE, OR and MS." in: Operations Research Vol 21, pp. 664.

### „[The environment of a system is] a set of elements and their relevant properties, which elements are not part of the system, but a change in any of which can cause or produce a change in the state of the system.“

—  Russell L. Ackoff Scientist 1919 - 2009
1970s, Towards a System of Systems Concepts, 1971

### „From the statements we have made, a stupendous perspective emerges, a vista towards a hitherto unsuspected unity of the conception of the world. Similar general principles have evolved everywhere, whether we are dealing with inanimate things, organisms, mental or social processes. What is the origin of these correspondences?We answer this question by the claim for a new realm of science, which we call General System Theory. It is a logico-mathematical field, the subject matter of which is the formulation and derivation of those principles which hold for systems in general. A "system" can be defined as a complex of elements standing in interaction. There are general principles holding for systems, irrespective of the nature of the component elements and of the relations or forces between them.“

—  Ludwig von Bertalanffy austrian biologist and philosopher 1901 - 1972
1950s, Problems of Life (1952, 1960), p. 199 as cited in: D.C. (1969) "Systems Theory — A Discredited Philosophy". in: Abacus V. p. 8

### „Simulation is the use of models and/or the actual conditions of either the thing being modeled or the environment in which it operates, with the models or conditions in physical, mathematical, or some other form. The purpose of simulation is to explore the various results which might be obtained from the real system by subjecting the model to representative environments which are equivalent to, or in some way representative of, the situations it is desired to understand or investigate. Simulation may involve system hardware and the actual physical environment, or it may involve mathematical models subjected to mathematical forcing or disturbance functions representative of the systems conditions to be studied.“

—  Harold Chestnut American engineer 1917 - 2001
Systems Engineering Tools, (1965), p. 111 as cited in

### „General systems theory (in the narrow sense of the term) is a discipline concerned with the general properties and laws of “systems”. A system is defined as a complex of components in interaction, or by some similar proposition. Systems theory tries to develop those principles that apply to systems in general, irrespective of the nature of the system, of their components, and of the relations or “forces” between them. The system components need not even be material, as, for example, in the system analysis of a commercial enterprise where components such as buildings, machines, personnel, money and “good will” of customers enter.“

—  Ludwig von Bertalanffy austrian biologist and philosopher 1901 - 1972
1960s, Robots, Men and Minds (1967), p. 69

### „In our definition of system we noted that all systems have interrelationships between objects and between their attributes. If every part of the system is so related to every other part that any change in one aspect results in dynamic changes in all other parts of the total system, the system is said to behave as a whole or coherently. At the other extreme is a set of parts that are completely unrelated: that is, a change in each part depends only on that part alone. The variation in the set is the physical sum of the variations of the parts. Such behavior is called independent or physical summativity.“

—  Arthur D. Hall American electrical engineer 1925 - 2006
Definition of System, 1956, p. 23

### „The manner in which things exist and take place, constitutes what is called the nature of things; and a careful observation of the nature of things is the sole foundation of all truth.“

—  Jean-Baptiste Say French economist and businessman 1767 - 1832
A Treatise On Political Economy (Fourth Edition) (1832), Introduction, p. xvii

### „The unitary system of thought has three main characteristics which distinguish it from many other systems: it deals with the form of systems rather than with their component parts; it recognizes a process of development as prior to the apparently static aspects of nature; and it is unitary, emphasizing one general form beneath all apparent dualism.“

—  Lancelot Law Whyte Scottish industrial engineer 1896 - 1972
The Next Development in Man (1948), p. 21-22

### „While we can conceive of a sum [or aggregate] as being composed gradually, a system as a total of parts with its [multiplicative] interrelations has to be conceived of as being composed instantly.“

—  Ludwig von Bertalanffy austrian biologist and philosopher 1901 - 1972
General System Theory (1968), 3. Some System Concepts in Elementary Mathematical Consideration, p. 55 as cited in: Anthony Wilden (2003) System and Structure: Essays in Communication and Exchange. p. 245