BIOLOGY (Relational) 1)5)
Organismic biology, as developed by Bertalanffy, Needham, Weiss, Woodger and others was one of the roots of systems theory, as a more general transdisciplinary worldview.
It was however not the only one. D. Gernert writes: "In the late 1920's. a pioneer of mathematical biology, Nicholas Rashevsky, set up mathematical models of specific biological processes, such as nerve excitation, cytokinesis, cardiovascular dynamics, central nervous functions, and many others. This was done with mathematics of that time…
"Later on, however, Rashevsky himself was more and more worried by doubts about the reach of his models, and looked for "a successful mathematical theory which would treat the integrated activities of the organism as a whole"(Rosen, 1994, p. 421). His endeavours let to what he called relational biology, as distinct from quantitative or metric biology. What really counts is no longer one or another variable, accessible to physical measurement, like blood pressure or electric potential at a certain spot, but the overall structure, which can be expressed, e.g., by a set of organs and the set of the relations between the organs (see e.g. Rashevsky, 1967) (quoted from D. Gernert, 2000, p. 157-58) Gernert adds: "Molecular biology, developmental biology and other fields require fundamental patterns-related operations: pattern generation, pattern transfer, pattern recognition, pattern interpretation and patterns application (Ibid.)
The same aspects became also apparent in ecology and in animal ethology and zoo semiotics, as for example in the interpretation of biological molecules (pheromones, etc) as signs carrying meanings between animals, and even between plants and animals.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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