General systems theory is sometimes considered to be extremely “general” and thus a theory embracing everything and nothing. In order to rehabilitate the theory, an attempt is made to trace its origin and define its hallmarks. Begins with an examination of the system concept and closes with the presentation of two paradigms, the systems paradigm and the evolutionary paradigm, today intimately related to general systems theory. Indicates that the theory rests on thoughts as old as humanity itself. Its most significant quality was found to be an order implicit into both cosmos and human existence based on a hierarchy of hierarchies as organizing elements.
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