(epub PDF) The Systems View of Life ☆ Fritjof Capra – TXT or Kindle eBook

Fritjof Capra ´ 4 review

Coherent framework Taking a broad sweep through history and across scientific disciplines the authors examine the appearance of key concepts such as autopoiesis dissipative structures social networks and a systemic understanding of evolution The implications of the systems view of life for health care management and our global. The Systems View of Life argues that Cartesian reductionism which refers to attempts to describe reality by examining its constituent parts distracts us from a true account of our world and the universe Instead Capra argues that focusing on patterns processes and underlying relationships offers fertile ground for useful inferences about reality I enjoyed the book until its head snapping turn to superficial polemics on healthcare business and energy policy These revealed the author s tendency to draw sweeping inferences from scant data in fields he clearly does not understand well By the end The Systems View of Life felt like a vacation that started well and then became a series of loud high pressure sales pitches for expensive time shares in another part of the world

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The Systems View of Life

Ecological and economic crises are also discussed Written primarily for undergraduates it is also essential reading for graduate students and researchers interested in understanding the new systemic conception of life and its implications for a broad range of professions from economics and politics to medicine psychology and law. Best place to dive into the shallow end of autopoesis and Varela s work on biosemiotics

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Over the past thirty years a new systemic conception of life has emerged at the forefront of science New emphasis has been given to complexity networks and patterns of organisation leading to a novel kind of 'systemic' thinking This volume integrates the ideas models and theories underlying the systems view of life into a single. A book that pretends to offer a global unifying view on life and reality cannot be but very comprehensive And in this respect Fritjof Capra lives up to all expectations not only does he offer a thorough critiue on classical sciences its determinism and reductionism but he also offers an alternative a contextual integrative and holistic approach For Capra that alternative paradigm can be found through Systems Approach a philosophical scientific and technical current of thinking that came to the foreground after the Second World War Capra summarizes the specific perspective of Systems View as follows The great shock of twentieth century science has been that living systems cannot be understood by analysis The properties of the parts are not intrinsic properties but can be understood only within the context of the larger whole Thus the relationship between the parts and the whole has been reversed In the systems approach the properties of the parts can be understood only from the organization of the whole Accordingly systems thinking does not concentrate on basic building blocks but rather on basic principles of organization Systems thinking is contextual which is the opposite of analytical thinking Analysis means taking something apart in order to understand it systems thinking means putting it into the context of a larger whole In this book Capra shows us the usefulness of this approach on all scientific domains that are relevant to life and he does so in great detail but without becoming too technical although of course sometimes it s a tough read And I must say it s fascinating and intriguing and it s uite convincing that this integrative and contextual approach has much to offer Capra illustrates that a lot of the tools that in the past decades have been created by the Systems Views give a better understanding of the ultracomplexity of life nonlinearity feedback loops self organization emergent properties autopoiesis the focus on relations patterns and processes instead of components etc In this sense this book is really worth readingBut yes of course there s a but Capra does make a very extreme black and white drawing of it Throughout the entire book in all domains that Capra raises he underlines how classical science and the paradigm behind it fail According to him they even are responsible for the major world problems we are facing And uite frankly that is a fairly gross and largely unjust accusation I have the impression that in his enthousiasm Capra sometimes twists and turns things to fit his view For example in his overview of the history of science he pretends that there has always been a pendulum movement between a reductionist deterministic approach and a holistic one and that is manifestly incorrect On top of that he is and after having read a number of books on Systems Thinking I think I can make that estimation he is very selective in what he puts under the banner of the Systems View by now I know Systems Thinking is uite a heterogenous current and Capra manifestly left out the bits that didn t fit in his story Of course Capra is not just an amateur he has written dozens of popular scientific works and I have the impression that he really knows the latest state of affairs in various scientific domains But his rather self assured demonstrative and sometimes even indoctrinating tone makes me very suspicious By his critics Capra is regularly labeled as a New Age author especially referring to one of his first and most famous works The Tao of Physics An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism in that book he moved in a fairly straight line from the failure of the classic reductionist sciences to the holistic wisdoms of Eastern religions 40 years later Capra takes up that line again the Dalai Lama even gets a guest article in this new book but now he uses the Systems View as an interface And there s another shift instead of Buddhism and Taoism Capra now sees a new doctrine of salvation in Ecology the last 100 pages of this book are entirely dedicated to that approach it gets so much emphasis that I think the title of this book should have been an ecological view of life instead of a systems view Now obviously there is a lot of wisdom in the ecological view and we have to shift our current way of thinking much in that direction that s without uestion and when you look around this is a process that is in full swing But once again my impression is that Capra is exaggerating in the other direction and is falling into the trap of eco fundamentalism depicting a too black and white state of affairs and being almost dogmatic in his line of thought I m strongly in favor of ecologism too but not when it turns into a anti humanism At the end this book breaths the air of a manifesto than of a reasoned analysis It is also clear that it was written in the period 2011 2012 just after the severe economic crisis and Capra repeatedly gives the impression that the whole world finally is convinced of the paradigm shift proclaimed by him with a loud drum More than 5 years later that eschatological looking expectation certainly still has not been fulfilled perhaps even on the contraryCapra is an enticing writer that is the least you can say And his presentation of the Systems View as a better way of looking at reality is inspiring But his deviation to Eastern mysticism and radical ecology reveals that he still clings to a rather dogmatic kind of holism Now our world needs dreamers and visionists like Capra so let them do it but as a reader it does no harm to link back to reality

10 thoughts on “The Systems View of Life

  1. says:

    A book that pretends to offer a global “unifying” view on life and reality cannot be but very comprehensive And in th

  2. says:

    This book was informative and beautiful The basic gist using a uote from the book is that there is a fundamental unity to life Different living systems exhibit similar patterns of organization The authors explore these patterns of organizati

  3. says:

    suffice to say that this book is a total outlier in terms of number of tags I used; most of my books have 2 5 ta

  4. says:

    The Systems View of Life argues that Cartesian reductionism which refers to attempts to describe reality by examining its constituent parts distracts us from a true account of our world and the universe Instead Capra argues that focusing on patterns processes and underlying relationships offers fertile ground for useful inferences

  5. says:

    it's been a long time since I've been so excited about reading a non fiction book let alone a text book But this one has captivated my interest by pulling together so many ideas and threads of scientific knowledge and wisdom In a sense this book feels like a Rosetta stone for me unlocking connections and roots of a panoply of different ideas and concepts It starts walking us through the history of science—and how scientific mo

  6. says:

    The Systems View of Life A Unifying Vision by Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi is an interdisciplinary book which presents ”a unified systemic vision that includes and integrates life’s” different dimensions pxii All living systems are ”highly nonlinear” networks where there are ”countless interconnections” pxii Here is a summary of the book together with some conclusionsIntroduction pp1 16The

  7. says:

    Very ambitious I didn't know what to make of it when I first heard about Fritjof Capra's work He and his co author are attempting to not only understand the systematic nature of everything and I mean everything they are also

  8. says:

    Best place to dive into the shallow end of autopoesis and Varela's work on biosemiotics

  9. says:

    Deeply disappointing After a promising start in its diagnosis of the problems this book totally fails to deliver on its solutions By the end it declines into highly naive hippy nonsense eg Medicine doesn't consider holistic care so let's use reiki and homeopathy What? No look into wellness centres and holistic care programs Solve

  10. says:

    Fundamental Really I'm serious

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