LinkedIn Systems Thinking World Thread: Explanation too complicated? Need to use standard terminology.

What are the synergies between Systems Thinking (ST) and Process Thinking (PT)? Are ST and PT in conflict or they can enhance each other?


Kent Palmer • Sorry about that, but this is all standard terminology in various fields. Really, I am only making up part of this. However, I don’t think you want a tutorial. But if you like I will try to explain. Just let me know what you don’t understand.

A temporal gestalt is a gestalt that takes time to manifest. There has been quite a bit of research in europe in a different gestalt school than the one that was transferred to the US on microgenesis which shows that there are discontinuities in the appearance of a gestalt as it manifests in consciousness. So it takes time for any gestalt to manifest, and that is punctuated by the microgenetic transformations of the content. But beyond that there are things like music that has figure ground relations that also take time to manifest which have longer timespans. These have been called by a few people temporal gestalts and distinguished from the normal gestalts to which microgenesis applies.

Synchronic and Diachronic are standard terms for snapshots in time verses the evolution of things. It is used mainly in Structuralism and Semiotics but also in other fields sometimes.

If we apply these terms to gestalts and flows we see that there are anomalous corner cases in the intertwining of gestalts and flows that I plan to continue to explain as time goes by. The first corner case is the temporal gestalt. When that is understood I will continue on to the second corner case. By corner case I mean an anomalous combination of gestalt and flow, sort of exceptions that prove the rule.

I am using temporal nexus for what Whitehead calls a concrescence. Standard terminology for the epiphany of an eventity. I really do not like Whitehead’s process philosophy, as Rescher said I think it killed the possibility of taking Process Theory seriously, and we need to get away from it but for many it is a standard reference vocabulary.

One problem is that Process Engineers and Systems Engineers do not read the background material is Process Philosophy and Systems Theory. I think we should try to fix that so that standard terminologies that have already been well developed are understood in these fields. I don’t think we are going to get very far reinventing the terminologies for each person who we talk to about these things. Of course, the variations that I make up like talking about “eventities” are peculiar to myself and should not carry any weight, unless people find them useful.

I am happy to explain these terminologies because if we get on the same page, with scholars that have already developed approaches to these phenomena then we will have a reference background for our conversation, which would be very useful.

Posted March 8, 2011 by kentpalmer in Uncategorized

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