• John P. van Gigch


Abstraction is a mental process by which our images of reality are refined through different levels of conceptualization. As such, it plays an important role in design because it affects the images we obtain at various levels of inquiry. Furthermore, because these conceptualizations are directly used in defining problems, abstraction affects problem solving and decision making.


System Science Object Level General System Theory Artistic Expression High Abstraction 
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. 1.
    J. P. van Gigch, Behav. Sci. 35, 122 (1990).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    T. F. Hoad, ed., The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1986).Google Scholar
  3. A. L. Lalande, Vocabulaire Technique et Critique de la Philosophie, 12th ed. (Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1976) (in French).Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    W. L. Reese, Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion (Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, NJ, 1980).Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    J. M. Baldwin, ed., Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology (Peter Smith, New York, 1940).Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    S. K. Langer, Mind: Essay on Human Feelings (Johns Hopkins U. Press, Baltimore, MD, 1967).Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    A. N. Whitehead and B. Russell, Principia Mathematical 2d. ed. (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, MA, 1925), Vol.1.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    E. K. Boulding, Manage. Sci. 2, 197 (1956); in.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. E. K. Boulding, Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist (W. Buckley, ed.) (Aldine, Chicago, 1968).Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    J. P. van Gigch, Applied General Systems Theory (Harper and Row, New York, 1978), 2nd ed.Google Scholar
  11. 9.
    J. G. Miller, Beh. Sc. 20, 355 (1975). See also.Google Scholar
  12. J. G. Miller, Living Systems (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1978).Google Scholar
  13. 10.
    The Concise Oxford Dictionary, 6th ed. (Oxford U. Press, Oxford, 1976).Google Scholar
  14. 11.
    E. Cassirer, The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms (Yale U. Press, New Haven, CT, 1953-1957).Google Scholar
  15. 12.
    C. W. Hendel, Introduction to E. Cassirer, Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, Ref. 11, Vol. I, p. 50.Google Scholar
  16. 13.
    E. Cassirer, Substance and Function (Open Court, Chicago, 1923); rpt. Dover (1953).Google Scholar
  17. 14.
    E. Cassirer, The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, Ref. 11, Vol. I, p. 101.Google Scholar
  18. 15.
    L. von Bertalanffy, “A Definition of the Symbol,” in Psychology and the Symbol: An Interdisciplinary Symposium (J. R. Royce, ed.) (Random House, New York, 1965), pp. 1–10; rpt. in A Systems View of Man, Ludwig von Bertalanffy (P.A. LaViolette, ed.) (Westview Press, Boulder, CO, 1981), Chapter 5.Google Scholar
  19. 16.
    L. von Bertalanffy, Scientific Nature 82, 37 (1956); rpt. in P. A. La Violette, ed., Ref. 15, Chapter 1, pp. 4-5.Google Scholar
  20. 17.
    A. Newell and H. A. Simon, Comm. ACM 19, 113 (1976).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 18.
    H. A. Simon, Sciences of the Artificial (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1969).Google Scholar
  22. 19.
    L. von Bertalanffy, Bull. Menninger Clin. 22, 50 (1958); rpt. in P.A. LaViolette, ed., Ref. 15, Chapter 3.Google Scholar
  23. 20.
    G. Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind (Ballantine, New York, 1972).Google Scholar
  24. 21.
    C. Hampden-Turner, Maps of the Mind: Charts and Concepts of the Mind and Its Labyrinths (Macmillan, New York, 1981), p. 170.Google Scholar
  25. 22.
    S. K. Langer, Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling (Johns Hopkins U. Press, Baltimore, MD, 1967).Google Scholar
  26. 23.
    S. K. Langer, Mind, Ref. 22, pp. 153-167.Google Scholar
  27. 24.
    S. K. Langer, Feeling and Form: A Theory of Art (Charles Scribner and Sons, New York, 1953).Google Scholar
  28. 25.
    S. K. Langer, Feeling and Form, Ref. 24, p. 82.Google Scholar
  29. 26.
    S. K. Langer, Feeling and Form, Ref. 24, p. 379.Google Scholar
  30. 27.
    J. P. van Gigch, Eur. J. Oper. Res. 42, 268 (1989).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 28.
    J. Wagensberg, Ideas World’s Complexity (Tusquet, Barcelona, 1985) (in Spanish).Google Scholar
  32. 29.
    J. Wagensberg, Ideas About World’s Complexities, Ref. 28, quoting Baudelaire’s Art Philosophique. Google Scholar
  33. 30.
    I. I. Mitroff, Stakeholders of the Organizational Mind (Jossey Bass, San Francisco, CA, 1983), p. 120.Google Scholar
  34. 31.
    I. I. Mitroff, The Subjective Side of Science: A Philosophical Inquiry Into the Psychology of the ‘Apollo Moon’ Scientists (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1974).Google Scholar
  35. 32.
    R. O. Mason and I.I. Mitroff, Challenging Strategic Planning Assumptions (Wiley, New York, 1981).Google Scholar
  36. 33.
    I. I. Mitroff, R. O. Mason, and V. Barabba, The 1980 Census: Policy Making Amid Turbulence (Lexington, Lexington, MA, 1983).Google Scholar
  37. 34.
    P. Edwards, The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Macmillan, New York, 1967).Google Scholar
  38. 35.
    C. Levi-Strauss, Structural Anthropology (Basic Books, New York, 1979).Google Scholar
  39. 36.
    C. Hampden-Turner, Maps of the Mind, Ref. 21, Maps 24, 40, and 42.Google Scholar
  40. 37.
    E. Cassirer, Language and Myth (Harper, New York, 1946).Google Scholar
  41. 38.
    G. Morgan, Admin. Sci. Q. 25, 605 (1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 39.
    J. P. van Gigch and L. L. Pipino, Int. J. Future Computing Syst. 1, 71 (1986).Google Scholar
  43. 40.
    J. P. van Gigch and J. L. Le Moigne, Behav. Sci. 34, 128 (1989).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 41.
    G. de Zeeuw and R. Glanville, eds., Support, Society, and Culture: Mutual Uses of Cybernetic and Science, Proceedings of Conference on Cybernetics and Science (University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 1989).Google Scholar
  45. 42.
    K. Forsythe, in Support, Society, and Culture, Ref. 41, pp. 13-18.Google Scholar
  46. 43.
    R. O. Mason, Manage. Sci. 15, B403 (1969).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 44.
    A. Hatchuel, P. Agrell, and J. P. van Gigch, Syst. Res. 4, 5 (1987).Google Scholar
  48. 45.
    P. Agrell, Eur. J. Oper. Res. 14, 335 (1983).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 46.
    J. P. van Gigch, Decision Making About Decision Making: Metamodels and Metasystems (Abacus, Gordon and Breach, London, 1987).Google Scholar
  50. 47.
    J. P. van Gigch, Rev. Int. Systémique 1, 319 (1988).Google Scholar
  51. 48.
    G. Lauzun, Revue Française de Gestion 24 (1980) (in French).Google Scholar
  52. 49.
    G. de Zeeuw, ed., Proceedings of the Conference on Problems of Disappearing Knowledge (University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 1985).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • John P. van Gigch
    • 1
  1. 1.California State UniversitySacramentoUSA

Personalised recommendations