System theory - renewed


Description theory

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<create and use>           <idealise>

Describers <observe & envisage> Realities

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1 Some system thinkers                 2 System theory ideas                  3 System theory terminology                   4 Introducing what follows

General system theory

Social systems thinking

Enterprises as systems

Description and reality


5 Introducing cybernetics

6 Systems thinking approaches

7 Introducing enterprises as systems

8 Introducing description theory

9 Introducing system philosophy

Papers below elaborate on the above

System Dynamics

System stability and change

Bertalanffy’s ideas    

Ashby’s ideas

The systems thinking paradigm

A “consensus in system theory

Seven signs of shamanism

Premises of EA and TOGAF

EA as applied system theory

EA as applied systems thinking


Communication    Information

Language, logic and data structures

Fuzzy types and fuzzy instantiation

Types and tokens

Other triangular philosophies.

Knowledge and truth

Realism or Idealism?

Papers below include background research and older musings

More GST principles and properties

Challenging systems thinkers

Business system models

Older musings

Introducing system properties

Holism and emergent properties


Information feedback loops

The primacy of behaviour

Determinism and hysteresis

Ashby on cybernetics

Marxism, system theory and EA

Boulding’s ideas

Ackoff’s ideas

Beer’s ideas

Maturana’s ideas

Luhmann’s ideas

Complex adaptive systems?   

Business system modelling premises

Premise 1: Encapsulation by interfaces
Premise 2: Behaviours run over time
Premise 3: Structures need space
Premise 4: Data conveys meaning
Premise 5: Models are abstractions
Premise 6: Things are typified  Error! Bookmark not defined.

Mental models and how brains work

The magic number seven

Other information theories

Taxonomies and ontologies

The problem of universals

Description and reality (a reader asks)

The 9 propositions of scientific idealism

Insights from the idealism triangle

System description as scientific idealism

Philosophical position statement 

Existence in space and time

Ontology and phenomenology

Logical positivism (Wittgenstein)

About life

Relevance of the above to EA

Questionable system properties

System/problem classifications

Business capabilities

Older type theory musings



Hierarchical (v network) organisation

Chaos and non-linear behaviour

Predictability and probabilty


Introducing system classifications

Ackoff’s system classes

Snowden’s Cynefin framework

People classes

Business architecture as systems

Business capabilities as social systems

EA in the system theory space

EA as applied system theory

Quality systems

The evolution of description

The evolution of types

Set and type theory

Types in different disciplines

How things instantiate types

Why we confuse types and instances

Types and meta types

Types and instances – analysis

Discrete v. continuous systems

The schism




Relativity v quantum mechanics

Discrete event-driven systems (DEDS)

Continuous System Dynamics

Converting discrete to continuous

The schism in systems thinking

EA, GST and social system thinking

Social entities v. social systems

Actors, roles and assignments

Idealisation in system theory

Abstraction from “the real machine”

Abstraction in the eternal golden braid

Abstraction varieties and typology

Abstraction in TOGAF and Zachman

Insights from description theory

The psychology of description

The philosophy of description

Principles for a controlled vocabulary

Data and reality – after Bill Kent


More about systems




The elements of systems

Primacy of external and behavioural views

Terms and concepts in system description

The anatomy of the reference model

Formalising system description

System theory dictionary and ontology

Architects, descriptions and systems

Architectural descriptions of systems

EA as multi-level architecture description

The practical terminology challenge

System theory and thinking references

Types and sets  references

Laszlo and Krippner quotes & references

Philosophical dichotomies


Other / older

Other / older


System state: entities and identities

Homeostasis and control

Hierarchies and lattices.

Enterprise state data

Modelling madness.

ISO 42010 in a nutshell

What ISO 42010 means

ISO change proposal

Functionality  and  Logicality

Granularity  and  Modularity

Composition  and  Generalisation

Systems as abstractions

UML types and instances

Modelling the passage of time




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