Systems Thinking.. or Not? LO25049

From: Morty Lefkoe (
Date: 07/07/00

Replying to LO25043 --

Richard said:
> I think I understand [Gavin's] point... or at least one of your points...
> and it's something I can agree with:
> STATEMENT: When we
> 1. distinguish objects from the background
> 2. ..treat the objects as variables
> 3. ..and state a theory about these variables
> ..this theory (or model) may be helpful.
> But, if we start to think that our theory is "real," confusing our
> theory with reality, this is a serious error. That is, if we are so
> sure of our theory that we cannot actively hold the possibility that
> it might be wrong or incomplete, then we are in grave danger. (END

The way I see it is that any distinction (separating anything from the
background) is arbitrary. No distinction is inherently true or false --
those concepts are not applicable to distinctions. The only question is,
is the distinction useful?

And, any given distinction might be useful in some situations, and not
others. The problem is in thinking you have "the truth," which keeps you
from making other distinctions or taking distinctions others have made

This is something I have to guard against in my own work all the time. I
look at behavior as being a product of our prior learning, both cognitive
and emotional. This is a very useful distinction, because I have
developed a way to "unlearn" the cognitive and emotional learning. But I
am clear that this isn't the "truth" about human behavior.

For example, it is "accurate" to understand people's behavior as a product
of introversion or extroversion. Etc., Etc.


Morty Lefkoe
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"Morty Lefkoe" <>

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