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Mastering systems thinking in practice
Mastering systems thinking in practice

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5 Categories of systems

Before finishing this week you will now return to the issue of making distinctions between situations and systems. Table 1, which you will look at in the next section, has been constructed from the characteristics and examples Casti (1994) claims are exhibited by simple and complex systems, but in the case of Table 1 the headings have been revised to cover situations regarded as simple ‘purposive systems’ and situations regarded as complex ‘purposeful systems’ to reflect the view that systems are conceptual epistemological devices rather than actual ontological things.

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Figure 7A practitioner who understands ‘systems’ to be a means of inquiry about a situation.