Special Issue "Towards a Second Generation General System Theory"


A special issue of Systems (ISSN 2079-8954).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Professor Gianfranco Minati
Italian Systems Society (AIRS) President and Doctoral Lecturer on Systems Science, Department Building Environment Sciences and Technology, Polytechnic University of Milan, Via Pellegrino Rossi, 42 20161 Milan, Italy
Website: http://www.gianfrancominati.net/
E-Mail: gianfranco.minati@airs.it
Interests: theoretical issues on systems science, such as logical openness, collective behavior, emergence, dynamic usage of models, meta-structures, multiple-systems; architecture and design as the design of meta-structures to influence emergence in social systems; managerial culture consistent with the science of complexity

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Eliano Pessa
Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, University of Pavia, Piazza Botta, 11, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Website: http://psicologia.unipv.it/personale.html?chronoform=dettagliodoc&rec=208
E-Mail: eliano.pessa@unipv.it
Interests: neural networks; artificial intelligence; quantum field theory; general relativity; quantum computation; general systems theory; mathematical modeling of self-organizing systems; computational neuroscience; quantum models of memory; human long-term memory; human visual perception; games theory and economic behavior

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

After Bertalanffy’s (1901–1972) introduction of General System Theory (GST), the concept of the “system” has been elaborated in almost every disciplinary field, and has allowed for interdisciplinary approaches to biology, chemistry, cognitive science, economics, education, medicine, physics, and sociology. GST has allowed the rise of, for instance, approaches and theories like Automata Theory, Catastrophe Theory, Chaos Theory, Control Theory, Cybernetics, Dissipative Structures, Game Theory, Systems Dynamics, and the Theory of Dynamical Systems.

However, after this very fecund period, on the one hand, new systemic approaches, concepts, and theories arose within the disciplines themselves, and on the other hand, GST had to deal with new problems of complexity.

Examples of new concepts are the ones introduced by network science, scale-invariance, power laws, and all the discoveries and elaborations that are quantum-based.

Examples of concepts of systemic complexity understanding focus on: coherence, development, dynamic usage of models to maintain coherences, emergence, entanglement, incompleteness, irreversibility, meta-structures, multiple non-homogeneity, multiplicity, network properties, non-linearity, non-symbolic, quantum, quasi, scenarios, self-organization, simultaneity, uniqueness, uncertainty, and incompleteness as resources.

On the other side, examples of concepts of GST pre-complexity understanding focus on anticipation, automata, completeness, context-independence, control, decisions, forecasting, growth, non-connectedness objectives, optimization, organization,  planning, precision, regulation, reversibility, separation, solutions, and standardization.

Extensions and updates of such GST concepts are not sufficient to maintain a unitary, systemic theoretical framework because of the different nature of new properties, and because of the problems involved in developing a new, theoretical unitary understanding.

This special issue will focus on the nature of new problems and their eventually common aspects and properties, on approaches that are already partially considered by different disciplines, and on new, possibly unitary, theoretical understandings.

Contributors are invited to present cases, proposals, approaches, models and theoretical frameworks to deal with the challenges of the post-GST age, for academic and disciplinary applications.

Prof. Dr. Gianfranco Minati
Prof. Dr. Eliano Pessa
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Systems is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • coherence
  • complexity
  • emergence
  • meta
  • model
  • multiple
  • network science
  • quantum
  • quasi
  • self-organization
  • system

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Displaying article 1-5
p. 576-589
by  and
Systems 2014, 2(4), 576-589; doi:10.3390/systems2040576
Received: 10 July 2014; in revised form: 30 September 2014 / Accepted: 20 October 2014 / Published: 22 October 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)
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p. 566-575
by  and
Systems 2014, 2(4), 566-575; doi:10.3390/systems2040566
Received: 8 July 2014; in revised form: 2 October 2014 / Accepted: 14 October 2014 / Published: 20 October 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)
p. 541-565
Systems 2014, 2(4), 541-565; doi:10.3390/systems2040541
Received: 1 August 2014; in revised form: 18 September 2014 / Accepted: 29 September 2014 / Published: 13 October 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)
p. 237-242
Systems 2014, 2(2), 237-242; doi:10.3390/systems2020237
Received: 29 April 2014; in revised form: 21 May 2014 / Accepted: 28 May 2014 / Published: 30 May 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)
p. 203-216
Systems 2014, 2(2), 203-216; doi:10.3390/systems2020203
Received: 9 April 2014; in revised form: 5 May 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
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Last update: 30 May 2014

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