Publication 4258

Reichel A. (2017) From hardware to hardcore: Formalizing systems with form theory. International Journal of Systems and Society 4(1): 37–48. Fulltext at
The state and relevance of Systems as a field of research and a specific form of scientific inquiry into complex real-world problem situations, can be enhanced significantly by developing and applying more formalized and coherent tools: a new ‘hardware’ enabling to build a new ‘hardcore’ for systems science. The basis of this new hardware stems from a line of thought emanating from George Spencer-Brown and the ‘Laws of Form’, running through the work of Francisco Varela and his calculus for self-reference, being radicalized by Niklas Luhmann and his views on ‘Social Systems’, and continued by Dirk Baecker with the application of form theory to management and organizations. In this contribution, the author develops an understanding and appreciation of the potentials of a form-theoretical approach to formalizing systems (real-world phenomena) as well as Systems (field of research). Central aspects will be the power of the form-theoretical hardware as regards systems storytelling, systems diagnostics and abductive reasoning.

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