A Foucauldian Reflection on Critical Systems Thinking

  • Néstor Valero-Silva


Michel Foucault and Jurgen Habermas represent two of the most influential contemporary philosophers of the postwar era. Their studies of modern society have contributed to continuous debate and development in moral and legal philosophy, sociology, gender studies, organizational analysis,1 and more recently, in systems science, especially within the paradigm of Critical Systems Thinking. However, it is important to highlight that most of the Critical Systems literature (e.g., Ulrich, 1983; Flood & Jackson, 1991a; Jackson, 1991; Midgley, 1992) has concentrated almost exclusively on the work of Habermas. Only Flood (1990) has considered Foucault in any depth, but he has tended to focus on the earlier work. As far as I am aware, Foucault’s later work has not yet been assessed by critical systems thinkers at all.


Critical Theory Critical Awareness System Methodology Historical Circumstance Frankfurt School 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Néstor Valero-Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Systems StudiesUniversity of HullHullEngland

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