From General System Theory by Ludwig von Bertalanffy

"We are dealing with emergent realities; no longer with isolated groups of men, but with a systematically interdependent global community. It is this level of [reality] which we must keep before our eyes if we are able to inspire large-scale action designed to assure our collective and hence our individual survival"

"Compared to the analytical procedure of classical science with resolution into component elements and one-way or linear causality as basic category, the investigation of organized wholes of many variables requires new categories of interaction, transaction, organization, teleology..."

"These considerations lead to the postulate of a new scientific discipline which we call general system theory. It's subject matter is formulation of principles that are valid for "systems" in general, whatever the nature of the component elements and the relations or "forces" between them...

"General system theory, therefore, is a general science of wholeness"...

The meaning of the somewhat mystical expression, "The whole is more that the sum of its parts" is simply that constitutive characteristics are not explanable from the characteristics of the isolated parts."

L. v. Bertalanffy, the founder of the Society of General Systems Research which was established in 1954. For more information, go to

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President; Advanced Design Institute