International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics

2nd Edition, as published by Charles François 2004 Presented by the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science Vienna for public access.


The International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics was first edited and published by the system scientist Charles François in 1997. The online version that is provided here was based on the 2nd edition in 2004. It was uploaded and gifted to the center by ASC president Michael Lissack in 2019; the BCSSS purchased the rights for the re-publication of this volume in 200?. In 2018, the original editor expressed his wish to pass on the stewardship over the maintenance and further development of the encyclopedia to the Bertalanffy Center. In the future, the BCSSS seeks to further develop the encyclopedia by open collaboration within the systems sciences. Until the center has found and been able to implement an adequate technical solution for this, the static website is made accessible for the benefit of public scholarship and education.


SYSTEMICS in Switzerland 1)

There are two main centers in Switzerland where systemic and cybernetic concepts and models have received a sustained attention and generated original work of great interest.

The first one is the School of Business Management at the University of Sankt Gallen. During the 1970's and 1980's, Prof. Hans ULRICH and Gilbert PROBST developed original ideas about self-organization as a way for the management of social systems. They also insisted on the necessity of global views for managers confronted with organizational issues and decision making.

More recently, Prof. Werner ULRICH has consistently explored issues in social design and planning. He developed what he calls "Critical heuristics" as a tool to be used in this field.

Prof. Markus SCHWANINGER explored in recent years the possibility and characteristics of intelligent organizations and the conditions for integrated business entreprises planning, specially competence in understanding and managing complex issues. He sees a kind of ecological dimension in organizational intelligence.

The other center much interested in systemics is in the French speaking part of the country. A quite significant work is constantly forwarded at the Association F. Gonseth, Institute de la Méthode in Bienne. (F. Gonseth has been an outstanding Swiss epistemologist of the 20 C. who introduced the concept of "ideoneity"). Consequently the attention of this group is centered on more abstract themes as for example: representation, the mind-body problem, phenomenology, complexity, transdisciplinarity, perception, autonomy, constructivism, holism, conceptual a priori, truth and idoneity, Popperian critical rationalism, autopoiesis, etc.

The Group organizes "written symposia" in which these themes are however discussed in a kind of conversational style. The debates are published in a periodic bulletin since more than 20 years and also in the "Cahiers de I'Institut de la Méthode". Among the most active participants are J.C. TABARY, a neuropsychiatrist; F. BONSACK prof. of philosophy, P.M. POUGET, prof. of philosophy, J.F. QUILICI-PACAUD, technologist, M.C. DUPRE, anthropologist.

Another participant is Prof. Eric SCHWARZ, of the Neuchâtel University. He is an active organizer of meetings and tutorials in Neuchâtel and Geneva, and a frequent author of papers centered in holism, evolution and other wide-embracing themes in cybernetic and systemic terms. He created the "Centre Interfacultaire d'Etudes Systémiques" at his University.


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


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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