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Systems Thinking, Critical Realism and Philosophy

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.
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Table of Contents

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

About the Author

John Mingers is Professor of Operational Research and Systems at Kent Business School, University of Kent. He is Deputy Director of the business school and Director of Research. He is a past Chair of the UK Systems Society and has been a member of the Council of the OR Society. John Mingers studied Management Sciences for his first degree at Warwick and later completed a Masters in Systems in Management at Lancaster University and a PhD at Warwick. He also worked in industry as a systems analyst and then as an OR analyst.

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