The elimination of a problem or difficulty affecting some issue.
However "there is no free lunch". Any so-called "solution" implies some costs. Moreover, as no issue can be isolated from context or environment, many solutions imply some new problem within the affected entity, its environment… or both. In many cases, so-called "problem solving" is in fact mere "problem shifting". The problem solver may be either unconscious of the shift or, in some cases, cynical about it.
In short no solution is such if it is merely a zero-sum game (or in cases a negative-sum one)
B. BANATHY Sr. once said: "You cannot solve a problem, you only can manage it".
He did not elaborate on his idea, but many contemporary "solutions"are clearly significant examples of bad global understanding and management
J. WARFIELD made a similar observation and objected to this use of language as "a form of linguistic pollution ". (pers. comm.)
Moreover, what we do understand as a "solution" depends largely of some implicit assumptions, nearly never clearly outlined, nor even at all conscious in many cases.
1. The linear solution :corresponds to a linear view of causality and can be legitimally used in simple problems of the type: "the left front tyre is punctured. We must change it with the spare one". This remits normally to a sequence of causally simple operations
2. The interdisciplinary solution: Two interconnected simple problems can frequently be solved through consultation between two (or more) specialists. But there is a basic condition: the specialists must understand each other, i.e. each must have at least some knowledge of his interlocutor's trade and the way it is relevant for his own work
3. The systemic solution :To begin with, any systemic solution is merely circumstancial and most generally provisional. In this case, "solution"should be understood in a conditional way: the quality of what we understand and decide to do cannot be better than our general grasp of the situation within its context
4. Solutions in time dimension :Most of the so-called solutions are merely "for now". The ignorance of the time dimension and nonlineal change leads in most cases to new problems (whose costs are generally paid by somebody else) The time-bomb problem should be taken care of.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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