Cosma / Communication / Knowledge / Form / Foundation / Theory / System



Ludwig Von Bertalanffy (International Society for the System Sciences)
Ludwig von Bertalanffy (Wikipedia)

Peter Senge (MIT Sloan School)
Peter Senge (Wikipedia)

Introduction to Systems Thinking (Daniel Kim, The Systems Thinker)


system : a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming a unified whole — Webster See also OneLook, Free Dictionary, Wiktionary, Urban Dictionary

Dictionary of Cybernetics and Systems (Principia Cybernetica)


Roget’s II (, Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, Visuwords


System is something that can be studied as a whole. Systems may consist of subsystems that are interesting in their own right. Or they may exist in an environment that consists of other similar systems. Systems are generally understood to have an internal state, inputs from an environment, and methods for manipulating the environment or themselves. Since cause and effect can flow in both directions of a system and environment, interesting systems often possess feedback, which is self-referential in the strongest case. — David Darling’s Internet Encyclopedia of Science

Britannica, Wikipedia

Systematics is the study of systems and their application to the problem of understanding ourselves and the world, developed by John G. Bennett in the mid-twentieth century. — Wikipedia


Outline of Cybernetics and Systems (Principia Cybernetica)

Portal (J.G. Bennett Online Library)
Principia Cybernetica (Table of Contents)
International Society for the System Sciences




Systems theory is the interdisciplinary study of systems. A system is a cohesive conglomeration of interrelated and interdependent parts that is either natural or man-made. Every system is delineated by its spatial and temporal boundaries, surrounded and influenced by its environment, described by its structure and purpose or nature and expressed in its functioning. In terms of its effects, a system can be more than the sum of its parts if it expresses synergy or emergent behavior. Changing one part of the system usually affects other parts and the whole system, with predictable patterns of behavior. For systems that are self-learning and self-adapting, the positive growth and adaptation depend upon how well the system is adjusted with its environment. Some systems function mainly to support other systems by aiding in the maintenance of the other system to prevent failure. The goal of systems theory is systematically discovering a system’s dynamics, constraints, conditions and elucidating principles (purpose, measure, methods, tools, etc.) that can be discerned and applied to systems at every level of nesting, and in every field for achieving optimized equifinality. General systems theory is about broadly applicable concepts and principles, as opposed to concepts and principles applicable to one domain of knowledge. — Wikipedia


Systems explained by Russell Ackoff (Open University)
A Lifetime of Systems Thinking (Russell Ackoff, The Systems Thinker)
Russell L. Ackoff (Wikipedia)

W. Edwards Deming (Britannica)
W. Edwards Deming (Wikipedia)


Systems science is an interdisciplinary field that studies the nature of systems—from simple to complex—in nature, society, cognition, and science itself. To systems scientists, the world can be understood as a system of systems. The field aims to develop interdisciplinary foundations that are applicable in a variety of areas, such as psychology, biology, medicine, communication, business management, engineering, and social sciences.

Systems science covers formal sciences such as complex systems, cybernetics, dynamical systems theory, information theory, linguistics or systems theory. It has applications in the field of the natural and social sciences and engineering, such as control theory, operations research, social systems theory, systems biology, system dynamics, human factors, systems ecology, systems engineering and systems psychology. Themes commonly stressed in system science are (a) holistic view, (b) interaction between a system and its embedding environment, and (c) complex (often subtle) trajectories of dynamic behavior that sometimes are stable (and thus reinforcing), while at various ‘boundary conditions’ can become wildly unstable (and thus destructive). Concerns about Earth-scale biosphere/geosphere dynamics is an example of the nature of problems to which systems science seeks to contribute meaningful insights. — Wikipedia

Explaining Systems Science (Michael Kalton and George Mobus, University of Washington)



Systems Theories: Their Origins, Foundations, and Development (Alexander Laszlo and Stanley Krippner)


Quotations Page


WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library



Systems Education Experiences (Institute for Systems Biology)


Systems Theory Course (Complexity Labs YouTube Channel)
MIT Engineering Systems Division
OER Commons: Open Educational Resources


Systems Thinking Community Is Working to Create Social and Environmental Change – Here’s What We’ve Noticed Recently (Megan Alley, Climate Interactive)


International Institute of Informatics and Systemics (IIIS)
International Society for the System Sciences


Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics
International Institute of Informatics and Systemics Journals (IIIS)
Systemics Journal
Systems Research and Behavioral Science


International Institute of Informatics and Systemics Journals Articles (IIIS)








Learning to think in systems – using LEGO bricks (Cecilia Weckstrom)
LEGO Systems Wins Three Prestigious Toy of the Year Awards (PR Newswire)


Systems Art (Wikipedia)


OEDILF: The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form


Song Lyrics


Systems Thinking and Futures Studies (Systems Thinking Ontario)




Here are links to pages about closely related subjects.

Knowledge Form
Philosophy Metaphysics, Logic, Epistemology, Ethics, Aesthetics
System, Cycle, Structure, Growth, Complexity, Control, Disturbance, Entropy, Chaos



1.   The resources on this page are are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma.