Volume 45, 1998
Theory of Knowledge
Elena B. Agoshkova
Systems Thinking in the Twenty-First Century
Systems thinking is an important factor in solving global problems. The twentieth-century has witnessed the development of a systems paradigm and different spheres of systems knowledge. However, further development of systems thinking necessitates overcoming the contradictions between different schools and unifying them into a single systems conception. With this in mind, systems problems are examined in light of the theory of knowledge. It is suggested that the gnosiological definition of the notion 'system' should be used as a basis for a single approach. An analysis of the concept 'system' leads to a logically well-structured conception of system. It follows from this that, in addition to the general theory of systems and the systems science, a non-formal theory of whole object and non-formal systems logic should form part of the systems thinking. This would set the stage for a categorical structure and a conceptual basis for systems thinking. The development of systems thinking should be regarded as the key challenge in perfecting humanity. The elaboration of a single systems conception within the philosophy of science and the methodology of scientific knowledge should be treated as a basis for meeting this challenge.