90 Systems Theory Quotes To Inspire You

Following is our list of systems theory quotations and slogans full of insightful wisdom and perspective about systems thinking.

The Most Famous Systems Theory Quotes (Best in 2024)

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Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing ‘patterns of change’ rather than static ‘snapshots.’ — Peter Senge

I believe that our very survival depends upon us becoming better systems thinkers. — Margaret J. Wheatley

To manage a system effectively, you might focus on the interactions of the parts rather than their behavior taken separately. — Russell L. Ackoff

First-order cybernetics is the science of observed systems; Second-order cybernetics is the science of observing systems. — Heinz von Foerster

Every theory is a self-fulfilling prophecy that orders experience into the framework it provides. — Ruth Hubbard

The purely abstract theorist runs the risk that, as with modern decor, the furniture of the mind will be sparse, bare, and uncomfortable. — Robert K. Merton

A theory is the more impressive the greater is the simplicity of its premises, the more different are the kinds of things it relates and the more extended the range of its applicability. — Albert Einstein

(Technology reliability) x (Human reliability) = (System reliability) — Garrett Hardin

All things are parts of one single system, which is called nature; the individual life is good when it is in harmony with nature. — Zeno of Citium

Computer scientists call validation: whereas verification asks 'Did I build the system right?', validation asks 'Did I build the right system?' — Max Tegmark

Short Systems Theory Quotes

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  • Maxwell's theory is Maxwell's system of equations. — Heinrich Hertz
  • The canary bird in the coal mine theory of the arts: artists should be treasured as alarm systems. — Kurt Vonnegut
  • You can tell that the capitalist system is in trouble when people start talking about capitalism. — Terry Eagleton
  • System administration is where theory meets practice with a vengeance. — Steve Simmons
  • It proved once again the theory that no security system is a match for a stupid employee. — Steig Larsson
Systems theory quote The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and co
The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and conceptualized and squeezed into a pattern of systems.

Theory Quotes

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Reality is, after all, too big for our frail understanding to fully comprehend. Nevertheless, we have to build our life on the theory which contains the maximum truth.We cannot sit still because we cannot, or do not , know the Absolute Truth. — Subhas Chandra Bose

Systems theory quote

Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. — Benito Mussolini

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. — Albert Einstein

Systems theory quote An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.
An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.

Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve. — Karl Popper

Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play. — Immanuel Kant

Each person is a unique individual. Hence, psychotherapy should be formulated to meet the uniqueness of the individual's needs, rather than tailoring the person to fit the Procrustean bed of a hypothetical theory of human behavior. — Milton H. Erickson

Systems theory quote The theory that religion is a force for peace, does not fits the facts of it's h
The theory that religion is a force for peace, does not fits the facts of it's history.

The dirty alliance between religious preachers and possessors of power brought the boon of prisons, gallows, knouts and above all such theories for the mankind. — Bhagat Singh

In string theory, all particles are vibrations on a tiny rubber band; physics is the harmonies on the string; chemistry is the melodies we play on vibrating strings; the universe is a symphony of strings, and the "Mind of God" is cosmic music resonating in 11 dimensional hyperspace. — Michio Kaku

Systems theory quote

A scientific theory is a tool and not a creed. — Joseph John Thomson

Before going back to college, i knew i didn't want to be an intellectual, spending my life in books and libraries without knowing what the hell is going on in the streets. Theory without practice is just as incomplete as practice without theory. The two have to go together. — Assata Shakur

Systems Thinking Quotes

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Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, they can't afford the time to think. — Noam Chomsky

The Toyota style is not to create results by working hard. It is a system that says there is no limit to people's creativity. People don't go to Toyota to 'work' they go there to 'think'. — Taiichi Ohno

When your world falls apart and you're left with just yourself, you're forced to discover who you are without all the beliefs, expectations, views, & self-image provided by some teacher or system. The calculating mind gives way to the intuitive mind, Knowing without Thinking. — Gabrielle Roth

Systems theory quote Our entire biological system, the brain and the earth itself, work on the same f
Our entire biological system, the brain and the earth itself, work on the same frequencies.

You assist an administration most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil administration never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good man will therefore resist an evil system or administration with his whole soul. — Mahatma Gandhi

The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don't know how to be submissive, and so on -- because they're dysfunctional to the institutions. — Noam Chomsky

Nothing-was more degrading than for a woman to have to marry for a home. Love should be the sole reason. Surely those with a brain-to think, eyes to see and a mind-to reason must realise that the capitalist system must cease and a co-operative system prevail in its place. — Vida Goldstein

Systems theory quote Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.
Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.

As soon as you start to tell yourself in your perception that you can't do something anymore, then your biological system will adjust to prove you right. You will not do what you think you can't do. — Bruce H. Lipton

I think the future of psychotherapy and psychology is in the school system. We need to teach every child how to rarely seriously disturb himself or herself and how to overcome disturbance when it occurs. — Albert Ellis

Whether you're thinking about trying a fasting system for preventive reasons or as a treatment, the doctor should be involved, there are many factors that must be considered, like your current diet, or whether you have diabetes or a metabolic disorder. — Valter Longo

Italy have plenty of high-quality players. Newcomers need time to get adjusted to the set-up and the system of play. I'm very young, and although I think I have shown good quality in my international games, I realise that there are plenty of others competing for places. — Alessandro Del Piero

Systems Analysis Quotes

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With the subsequent strong support from cybernetics , the concepts of systems thinking and systems theory became integral parts of the established scientific language, and led to numerous new methodologies and applications -- systems engineering, systems analysis, systems dynamics, and so on. — Fritjof Capra

Computer system analysis is like child-rearing; you can do grievous damage, but you cannot ensure success. — Tom DeMarco

In the final analysis it doesn't really matter what the political system is...We don't need perfect political systems; we need perfect participation. — Cesar Chavez

Systems theory quote Someone asked me the other day if I believe in conspiracies. Well, sure. Here's
Someone asked me the other day if I believe in conspiracies. Well, sure. Here's one. It is called political system. It is nothing if not a giant conspiracy to rob, trick and subjugate the population.

I shall devote all my efforts to bring light into the immense obscurity that today reigns in Analysis. It so lacks any plan or system, that one is really astonished that there are so many people who devote themselves to it - and, still worse, it is absolutely devoid of any rigor. — Niels Henrik Abel

Peter Joseph is asking the questions and proposing the possible solutions that we should be demanding from the elected leaders of this crazy world. His brilliant analysis of this ridiculous system we're operating under is one of the most important voices for change in this generation. — Joe Rogan

Mathematical Analysis is... the true rational basis of the whole system of our positive knowledge. — Auguste Comte

Systems theory quote I must create a system, or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason
I must create a system, or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason

All analyses end badly. Each 'termination' leaves the participants with the taste of ashes in their mouths; each is absurd; each is a small, pointless death. Psychoanalysis cannot tolerate happy endings; it casts them off the way the body's immunological system casts off transplanted organs. — Janet Malcolm

In the last analysis, productivity of labour is the most important, the principal thing for the victory of the new social system. — Vladimir Lenin

As you study computer science you develop this wonderful mental acumen, particularly with relational databases, systems analysis, and artificial intelligence. — Frederick Lenz

Respecting beings, places, and life ways would be a basis for a worthy systemic analysis. And such an analysis would be inherently conservative, assuming that technology - from the fire stick to the silicon chip - is apt to do more harm to the Whole than good. — Stephanie Mills

People Writing About Systems Theory

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Name Quotes Likes
Read quotes by Peter Senge

Peter Senge
quotes on change, hard work

102 1185
Read quotes by Margaret J. Wheatley

Margaret J. Wheatley
quotes on education, life and love

109 1876
Read quotes by Russell L. Ackoff

Russell L. Ackoff
quotes on leadership, education and love

28 673
Read quotes by Heinz von Foerster

Heinz von Foerster
quotes on art, education and music

12 135
Read quotes by Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein
quotes on education, success and imagination

1931 58682
Read quotes by Garrett Hardin

Garrett Hardin
quotes on life, education and government

34 109

More Systems Theory Quotes

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The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside. — Kwame Nkrumah

Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. — John Rawls

Before the 1940s the terms "system" and "systems thinking" had been used by several scientists, but it was Bertalanffy's concepts of an open system and a general systems theory that established systems thinking as a major scientific movement — Fritjof Capra

No theory, no ready-made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world. I cleave to no system. I am a true seeker. — Mikhail Bakunin

Opinions, theories, and systems pass by turns over the grindstone of time, which at first gives them brilliancy and sharpness, but finally wears them out. — Antoine Rivarol

Narrow minds devoid of imagination. Intolerance, theories cut off from reality, empty terminology, usurped ideals, inflexible systems. Those are the things that really frighten me. What I absolutely fear and loathe. — Haruki Murakami

There are just too many opportunities - and an increasing number of them - to hide systemic, institutional wrongdoing behind legal veils, legal theories, and arbitrary exemptions. I hope that we can start to chip away at this, but it sure looks like society is still sliding in the opposite direction. — Chelsea Manning

Europe is so well gardened that it resembles a work of art, a scientific theory, a neat metaphysical system. Man has re-created Europe in his own image. — Aldous Huxley

It must be clearly understood that Soviet players do not seek simple systems in the opening, but try to formulate opening systems in which everything is complicated, distinctive, or new. — Mikhail Botvinnik

Evolutionary biologists have been able to pretend to know how complex biological systems originated only because they treated them as black boxes. Now that biochemists have opened the black boxes and seen what is inside, they know the Darwinian theory is just a story, not a scientific explanation. — Phillip E. Johnson

For what are myths if not the imposing of order on phenomena that do not possess order in themselves? And all myths, however they differ from philosophical systems and scientific theories, share this with them, that they negate the principle of randomness in the world. — Stanislaw Lem

What I most cherish is the observation of the movement of colors. Only in this have I found the laws of those simultaneous and complementary color contrasts that nourish the actual rhythm of my vision. In this I find the actual essence, an essence which is not born out of an a priori system or theory. — August Macke

But what I attach great importance to is observation of the movement of colors. It is only in this way that I have found the laws of complementary contrast and the simultaneity of those colors that nourish the rhythm of my vision. There I find the representative essence — which does not arise from a system or an a priori theory. — Robert Delaunay

Nothing is more clear than that Christ cannot be explained by any humanistic system. He does not fit into any theory of natural evolution, for in that case the perfect flower of humanity should have appeared at the end of human history and not in the middle of it. — Loraine Boettner

Almost all systems of economic thought are premised on the idea of continued economic growth, which would be fine and dandy if we lived on an infinite planet, but there's this small, niggling, inconvenient fact that the planet is, in fact, finite, and that, unlike economic theory, it is governed by physical and biological reality — George Monbiot

Our acceptance of an ontology is, I think, similar in principle to our acceptance of a scientific theory, say a system of physics;we adopt, at least insofar as we are reasonable, the simplest conceptual scheme into which the disordered fragments of raw experience can be fitted and arranged. — Willard Van Orman Quine

Delight at having understood a very abstract and obscure system leads most people to believe in the truth of what it demonstrates. — Georg C. Lichtenberg

Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth. — Nhat Hanh

A cardinal principle in systems theory is that all parties that have a stake in a system should be represented in its management. — Malcolm Knowles

One's own free and unfettered volition, one's own caprice, however wild, one's own fancy, inflamed sometimes to the point of madness - that is the one best and greatest good, which is never taken into consideration because it cannot fit into any classification and the omission of which sends all systems and theories to the devil. — Fyodor Dostoevsky

Psychotherapy theory turns it all on you: you are the one who is wrong. If a kid is having trouble or is discouraged, the problem is not just inside the kid; it's also in the system, the society. — James Hillman

So yes in theory there is a kind of a formal democracy and in many ways these were achievements and an improvement over the feudal system and more advanced than anything else in the world, but nothing that we ought to call democracy. — Noam Chomsky

People would believe propagate, spread rumors or conspiracy theories in order to protect their own system of denial. — Bassem Youssef

I'm very suspicious of the idea of a "final theory" in natural science, and the thought of a complete system of ethical rules seems even more dubious. — Philip Kitcher

Without doubt, if we are to go back to that ultimate, integral experience, unwarped by the sophistications of theory, that experience whose elucidation is the final aim of philosophy, the flux of things is one ultimate generalization around which we must weave our philosophical system. — Alfred North Whitehead

His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing... My surprise reached a climax, however, when I found incidentally that he was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the Solar System. — Arthur Conan Doyle

Whenever you have dynamic interactions between 300 million people and the American economy acting in really complex ways, that introduces a degree of almost chaos theory to the system, in a literal sense. — Nate Silver

Well, here’s a scientific question: Has anybody ever seen hard evidence? What we get is theories from our earlier prophets. Now, people who think that God invented us think that the Earth can’t be more than 6,000 years old. So I guess it’s a question of belief. My belief system doesn’t support a creator as such, as we can call God, who created us in His/Her/Its image. — Morgan Freeman

In theory, cars are fairly simple. If they don't start, it's either the fuel system or the electrical system. Teach yourself about the path of each in your engine and tracing it is fairly straightforward. But at the beginning, mastering each new system seems like an unreachable shore. The car is effectively a black box. — Adam Savage

Were I to deduce any system from my feelings on leaving Eton, it might be called The Theory of Permanent Adolescence. It is the theory that the experiences undergone by boys at the great public schools, their glories and disappointments, are so intense as to dominate their lives and to arrest their development. From these it results that the greater part of the ruling class remains adolescent, school-minded, self-conscious, cowardly, sentimental, and in the last analysis homosexual. — Cyril Connolly

The system becomes more coherent as it is further extended. The elements which we require for explaining a new class of facts are already contained in our system. In false theories, the contrary is the case. — William Whewell

The first issue to be settled is whether socialism has a right to exist Are its allegations concerning the present system true? Is industry proceeding on a principle of fraud? I wish to test the power of recent economic theory to give an exact answer to this question. — John Bates Clark

Is evolution a theory, a system, or an hypothesis? It is much more: it is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforward if they are to be thinkable and true. — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

In this movement of colors I find the essence, which does not arise from a system, or an a priori theory. — Robert Delaunay

But the scientific importance of a change in knowledge of fact consists precisely in j its having consequences for a system of theory. — Talcott Parsons

Since the election [of Donald Trump], I've been thinking about a lot of theory. Lots of [Michel] Foucault and [Karl] Marx, thinking about different systems, thinking about power. Trying to figure out what I can take and learn from history as a tool for getting through whatever is happening right now, which feels very significant and major. — Morgan Parker

We've had 60 years of intellectual development in Iran. How can we have the same system? Even theories of secularism are constantly being revised and changed. — Akbar Ganji

The Western world, in spite of its advantages of mechanization and industrial efficiency is today in a worse mess than ever before in history. The adoption Western economic theory and practice will not help us in achieving our goal of creating a happy and contented people. We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. — Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Psychotherapy makes every problem a subjective, inner problem. And that's not where the problems come from. They come from the environment, the cities, the economy, the racism. They come from architecture, school systems, capitalism, exploitation. They come from many places that psychotherapy does not address. Psychotherapy theory turns it all on you: you are the one who is wrong. — James Hillman

There is no scientific theory that could lead us from a detailed map of every single neuron in someone's brain to a conscious experience. We don't even have the beginnings of a theory whose conclusion would be "such a system is conscious. — Stuart J. Russell

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