The evolution of system theory

Copyright Graham Berrisford 2018. Last updated 12/02/2019 13:42

One of a hundred papers on the System Theory page at

Find that page for a link to the next System Theory for Architects Tutorial in London.


You can’t understand systems without answering questions about the nature of description and reality.

These questions are often considered the domain of philosophers and linguists such Nietzsche and Wittgenstein.

There is some philosophy here, but the perspective is primarily scientific.


Contrary to postmodern attacks on science and reality, as reported “A philosophical position statement”, this story respects science.

It positions systems theory in a brief history of the universe and human evolution, and as a branch of science.

Our story of description and reality is rooted phenomena the emerged through the evolution of animals and human thought.

It is divided into three papers:


·         Memories and messages

·         Languages and logic

·         The use of logic to describe systems.


Thinking about systems is often considered the domain of sociologists.

But if you are looking for discussion of social systems, you’ll have to wait for a while.