Publication 4746

Pouvreau D. (2014) On the history of Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s “general systemology”, and on its relationship to cybernetics. Part II: Contexts and developments of the systemological hermeneutics instigated by von Bertalanffy. International Journal of General Systems 43(2): 172–245.
The history of “general system theory” is investigated in order to clarify its meanings, vocations, foundations and achievements. It is characterized as the project of a science of the systemic interpretation of the “real”, renamed here “general systemology”. The contexts and modes of its elaboration, publication and implementation are discussed. The paper mostly focuses on the works of its instigator: Ludwig von Bertalanffy. However, general systemology was a collective project: the main contributions of other “systemologists”, from the 1950s until the 1970s, are hence also considered. Its solidarity with the history of the Society for General Systems Research is notably discussed. A reconstruction of the systemological hermeneutics is undertaken on this basis. It finds out the potential systematic unity underlying the diversity of the contributions to this both scientific and philosophical project. Light is thus shed on the actual scope of von Bertalanffy’s works.
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