This study aims to explain and illustrate the character of Russian systems thinking and to show how it is different and similar to traditions in the West. This study’s second aim is to describe the contributions of some Russian scientists to developing systems thinking and the theory of evolution. This study introduces the predecessors of Charles Darwin in Russia, both supporters and critics of his ideas, as well as scientists who have made similar contributions to the development of systems thinking, particularly Vladimir Vernadsky and Alexander Bogdanov.
Philosophical and theoretical comparisons. In the Russian intellectual tradition, the terms “Russia” and the “West” are likely codes for signifying fundamental philosophical questions about the universality of thinking and culture. The term “West” means universal, rational truth without taking into consideration any differences in life and cultural practice. The term “Russia” means impossibility of such a universal truth and a necessity to look for solutions on the level of life, not only on the level of rational thinking.
Paying attention to differences in approaches to systems and cybernetics and the theory of evolution will enrich the further development of systems sciences in Russia and the West. The paper examines the philosophical underpinnings of science rather than just testing or extending an existing theory. The result is better mutual understanding among scientists with different backgrounds.
This study suggests new avenues for research and expands the range of conceptual possibilities. It improves mutual understanding among scholars and countries. Also, it adds to the topics discussed within the field of systems and cybernetics and the theory of evolution.
Medvedeva, T.A. (2020), "Understanding the contributions of some Russian scientists to developing systems thinking and the theory of evolution", Kybernetes, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-03-2019-0175Download as .RIS
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