Living systems: Basic concepts



The first issue of this journal began with an editorial which said in part: “Our present thinking—which may alter with time—is that a general theory will deal with structural and behavioral properties of systems. The diversity of systems is great. The molecule, the cell, the organ, the individual, the group, the society are all examples of systems. Besides differing in the level of organization, systems differ in many other crucial respects. They may be living, nonliving, or mixed; material or conceptual; and so forth.” A decade later, the thinking has not altered greatly. Every year the structure and process of many sorts of systems have been analyzed in these pages. The following article and its companions in the next issue epitomize general systems behavior theory as presented in the author's Living Systems, to be published in a few months.