Structure, under its diachronic guise, is the repertory of those transformations acceptable for the system (i.e. corresponding to its variety content in ASHBY's sense).
Strictly speaking it would be better to say that systems do not evolve, but undergo transformations (allowed by their structure).
However, when "the alteration is so important as to become necessarily irreversible, an historical process takes place, giving birth to a new structure" (J.L.LE MOIGNE, after J.G. MILLER).
C. BRESCH in his comprehensive study of evolution (1977) observed that structure tends to be structurating, i.e. to generate complementary or countervailing structures.
He also explained that structures develop out of components, but within the limits of preexisting constraints.
- 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]
We thank the following partners for making the open access of this volume possible: