Systems Thinking, Critical Realism and Philosophy: A Confluence of Ideas seeks to re-address the whole question of philosophy and systems thinking for the twenty first century and provide a new work that would be of value to both systems and philosophy. This is a highly opportune time when different fields – critical realism, philosophy of science and systems thinking – are all developing around the same set of concepts and yet not realizing it.
This book will be of interest to the academic systems community worldwide and due to it's interdisciplinary coverage, it will also be of relevance to a wide range of scholars in other disciplines, particularly philosophy but also operational research, information systems, and sociology.
PART 1 FOUNDATIONS 1. Introduction 2. Philosophical Foundations: Critical Realism 3. Systems Thinking and Critical Realism PART 2 ONTOLOGICAL ISSUES 4. Explanatory Mechanisms 5. Emergence, Generative Powers and Causality 6. Can Social Systems be Autopoietic? PART 3 EPISTEMOLOGICAL ISSUES 7. Observing Systems: The Question of Boundaries 8. Knowledge and Forms of Truth PART 4 PRACTICAL ISSUES 9. Methodology: What Might We Do 10. Ethics: What Should We Do? 11. Conclusion