The Will to Systems

From Making Sense to Enframing
  • Ramsés Fuenmayor


“Taking stock historically” was the first subtitle of Professor Peter Checkland’s presidential address to the International Society for General Systems Research in June 1987. The title of the address is suggestive: “Images of Systems and the Systems Image” (1988a). By ‘taking stock historically’ Checkland means to make a chronological narrative of different attempts at systems thinking and check what we have’ stocked’ in what seems to be a common project comprising those different attempts. This teleological written chronicle leading to a’ stock’ intends to give historical meaning to’ soft systems thinking.’ A cursory inspection of the last 25 years of systems thinking in UK is enough to accept that critical systems thinking is historically indebted to Checkland’s soft systems thinking. Hence, the problem about the historical meaning of soft systems thinking is at the root of any other type of systems thinking derived from it; even though such a derivation be by means of logical opposition.


System Thinking Practical Question Soft System Methodology Hide Assumption German Idealism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Checkland, P.B., 1985, From optimizing to learning a development of systems thinking for the 1990s, J. Opl. Res. Soc. 9: 757–767.Google Scholar
  2. Checkland, P.B., 1988(a), Images of systems and the systems image, J. Appl. Syst. Anal. 15: 37–42.Google Scholar
  3. Checkland P.B., 1988(b), The case for ‘Holon’. Syst. Prac. 1: 235–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Checkland, P.B., and Scholes, J., 1990, “Soft Systems Methodology in Action,” John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.Google Scholar
  5. Dávila, J., 1994, Critica Parcial de la ‘Calidad Total’, Proceedings of “VII Congreso Latino Iberoamericano de Investigacion de Operaciones e Ingenieria de Sistemas.”, Santiago de Chile.Google Scholar
  6. Ferry, L., 1991, “Filosofia Politica,” Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico.Google Scholar
  7. Flood, R.L., and Jackson, M.C., 1991, “Creative Problem Solving,” John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.Google Scholar
  8. Foucault, M., 1966, “The Order of Things,” Pantheon, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Foucault, M., 1991, What is Enlightenment?, in: “The Foucault Reader,” P. Rabinow, ed., Penguin, Harmondsworth.Google Scholar
  10. Fuenmayor, R.L., 1993, The trap of evolutionary organicism. Syst. Prac. 6: 469–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fuenmayor, R., 1994, ’systems science: addressing global issues’—the death rattle of dying era?, Systemist, 16:110–157.Google Scholar
  12. Heidegger, M., 1952, The word of Nietzsche: ‘God is dead’, in: “The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays,” (1977), Harper & Row, New York.Google Scholar
  13. Heidegger, M., 1962, The Question Concerning Technology, in: “The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays,” (1977), Harper and Row, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Heidegger, M, 1969, The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking, in: “Basic Writings,” (1993), Routledge, London.Google Scholar
  15. Heidegger, M., 1985, “Schelling’s Treatise on the Essence of Human Freedom,” Ohio University Press, Athens.Google Scholar
  16. Kant, I., 1784, What is enlightenment?, in: “Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals,” Bobbs-Merrill, New York.Google Scholar
  17. Kant, I., 1781/1787, “Critique of Pure Reason,” transl. by Norman Kemp Smith, 1929, Macmillan, London.Google Scholar
  18. MacIntyre, A., 1985, “After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory,” Duckworth, London.Google Scholar
  19. Suarez, T., 1994, Pequeña reflexion sobre la Quinta Disciplina, Working Paper, Department of Interpretive Systemology, Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela.Google Scholar
  20. Ulrich, W., 1983, “Critical Heuristics of Social Planning,” Haupt, Berne.Google Scholar
  21. Vickers G., 1970, “Freedom in a Rocking Boat,” Penguin, Harmondsworth.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramsés Fuenmayor
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Sistemología InterpretativaUniversidad de Los AndesMéridaVenezuela

Personalised recommendations