## SYSTEM (Abstract)
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A system "all whose elements are concepts "(R.L. ACKOFF, 1972)

M. BUNGE calls this type of systems "conceptual systems" (1993, p. 211).

ACKOFF comments: "Languages, philosophic systems, and number systems are examples. Numbers are concepts but the symbols that represent them, numerals, are physical things… The use of different numerals to represent the same numbers does not change the nature of the system.

"In an abstract system the elements are created by defining and the relationship between them are created by assumptions (e.g. axioms and postulates) Such systems, therefore, are the subject of study of the so-called formal sciences" (Ibid).

G. KLIR states: "The isomorphic transformation from an interpreted system into the corresponding general system, which may be called an abstraction, is always possible. The inverse transformation, which may be called an interpretation, is not guaranteed and must be properly justified in each case. Indeed, relations among things based upon distinctions made in the real world cannot be arbitrary, but must reflect genuine constraints of the real world, as represented in our world of experiences. Hence, each interpreted system determines uniquely its representative general systems, by the isomorphic transformation, but not the other way around" (1991, p.17).

D. Mc NEIL observes: "… while a system may be represented by static symbols, e.g. in a "system" of musical notation, the formalism is only a representation of the structure of the system and that the system-ness itself is in the dynamic application of its structure" (1993 b). This is the difference between the score of a symphony and the symphony itself, when performed.

### Categories

- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented

### Publisher

Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science(2020).

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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