The Fallacies of Non-System-Oriented Methods

  • Konrad Z. Lorenz


The sequence of research steps that has just been discussed is prescribed for us by the complex interacting structural framework of all living systems. The more complex a living system is, that much more strictly must the sequence of research steps be followed. But when dealing with simpler systems, and particularly with inanimate objects, the sequence need not be so strict. Let us assume that the Martian whom we have already used as an example has the task of analyzing a clock with a pendulum. It is possible to imagine that after he has understood the teleonomy of the object and has gone on to observe more about the speed relationships of one to twelve between the clock’s two hands, as well as the oscillations of the pendulum, he would be capable, independently, of reinventing the mechanism of the pendulum clock. Provided he knows the laws of the lever and of the pendulum, not all that much inventiveness is required; and if he has a fair amount of luck, our Martian will, in fact, hit upon the same mechanism that the earthly clock-maker brought into use.


Operational Method Atomic Physic Inanimate Object Exact Science Research Step 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konrad Z. Lorenz
    • 1
  1. 1.ViennaAustria

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